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Sample records for affect working memory

  1. Negative affect improves the quality of memories: trading capacity for precision in sensory and working memory.

    PubMed

    Spachtholz, Philipp; Kuhbandner, Christof; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2014-08-01

    Research has shown that negative affect reduces working memory capacity. Commonly, this effect has been attributed to an allocation of resources to task-irrelevant thoughts, suggesting that negative affect has detrimental consequences for working memory performance. However, rather than simply being a detrimental effect, the affect-induced capacity reduction may reflect a trading of capacity for precision of stored representations. To test this hypothesis, we induced neutral or negative affect and concurrently measured the number and precision of representations stored in sensory and working memory. Compared with neutral affect, negative affect reduced the capacity of both sensory and working memory. However, in both memory systems, this decrease in capacity was accompanied by an increase in precision. These findings demonstrate that observers unintentionally trade capacity for precision as a function of affective state and indicate that negative affect can be beneficial for the quality of memories.

  2. Enhancing Mobile Working Memory Training by Using Affective Feedback

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaaff, Kristina

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to propose a novel approach to enhance working memory (WM) training for mobile devices by using information about the arousal level of a person. By the example of an adaptive n-back task, we combine methodologies from different disciplines to tackle this challenge: mobile learning, affective computing and cognitive…

  3. How do musical tonality and experience affect visual working memory?

    PubMed

    Yang, Hua; Lu, Jing; Gong, Diankun; Yao, Dezhong

    2016-01-20

    The influence of music on the human brain has continued to attract increasing attention from neuroscientists and musicologists. Currently, tonal music is widely present in people's daily lives; however, atonal music has gradually become an important part of modern music. In this study, we conducted two experiments: the first one tested for differences in perception of distractibility between tonal music and atonal music. The second experiment tested how tonal music and atonal music affect visual working memory by comparing musicians and nonmusicians who were placed in contexts with background tonal music, atonal music, and silence. They were instructed to complete a delay matching memory task. The results show that musicians and nonmusicians have different evaluations of the distractibility of tonal music and atonal music, possibly indicating that long-term training may lead to a higher auditory perception threshold among musicians. For the working memory task, musicians reacted faster than nonmusicians in all background music cases, and musicians took more time to respond in the tonal background music condition than in the other conditions. Therefore, our results suggest that for a visual memory task, background tonal music may occupy more cognitive resources than atonal music or silence for musicians, leaving few resources left for the memory task. Moreover, the musicians outperformed the nonmusicians because of the higher sensitivity to background music, which also needs a further longitudinal study to be confirmed.

  4. Depressive Symptoms Affect Working Memory in Healthy Older Adult Hispanics

    PubMed Central

    Salazar-Villanea, Monica; Liebmann, Edward; Garnier-Villarreal, Mauricio; Montenegro-Montenegro, Esteban; Johnson, David K.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Low and middle income nations will experience an unprecedented growth of the elderly population and subsequent increase in age-related neurological disorders. Worldwide prevalence and incidence of all-types of neurological disorders with serious mental health complications will increase with life expectancy across the globe. One-in- ten individuals over 75 has at least moderate cognitive impairment. Prevalence of cognitive impairment doubles every 5 years thereafter. Latin America’s population of older adult’s 65 years and older is growing rapidly, yet little is known about cognitive aging among healthy older Latinos. Clinically significant depressive symptomatology is common among community-dwelling older adults and is associated with deficits across multiple cognitive domains, however much of the literature has not modeled the unique effects of depression distinct from negative and low positive affect. Our objective was to understand how mental health affects cognitive health in healthy aging Latinos. Methods The present study used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the relative effects of Negative Affect, Positive Affect and Geriatric Depression on Verbal Memory, Verbal Reasoning, Processing Speed, and Working Memory in healthy aging Latinos. Data was collected from a sample of healthy community dwelling older adults living in San Jose, Costa Rica. Modeling of latent variables attenuated error and improved measurement reliability of cognition, affect, and depression variables. Results Costa Ricans enjoy a notoriety for being much happier than US citizens and are renowned as one of the happiest nations in the world in global surveys. This was born out in these data. Costa Rican affective profiles differed substantively from US profiles. Levels of negative affect and depression were similar to US samples, but their levels of positive affect were much higher. Cognitive performance of these Costa Rican

  5. Multisensory Integration Affects Visuo-Spatial Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botta, Fabiano; Santangelo, Valerio; Raffone, Antonino; Sanabria, Daniel; Lupianez, Juan; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti

    2011-01-01

    In the present study, we investigate how spatial attention, driven by unisensory and multisensory cues, can bias the access of information into visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM). In a series of four experiments, we compared the effectiveness of spatially-nonpredictive visual, auditory, or audiovisual cues in capturing participants' spatial…

  6. Feature-Based Memory-Driven Attentional Capture: Visual Working Memory Content Affects Visual Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olivers, Christian N. L.; Meijer, Frank; Theeuwes, Jan

    2006-01-01

    In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly with a visual search task when it was accompanied by…

  7. The influence of a working memory task on affective perception of facial expressions.

    PubMed

    Lim, Seung-Lark; Bruce, Amanda S; Aupperle, Robin L

    2014-01-01

    In a dual-task paradigm, participants performed a spatial location working memory task and a forced two-choice perceptual decision task (neutral vs. fearful) with gradually morphed emotional faces (neutral ∼ fearful). Task-irrelevant word distractors (negative, neutral, and control) were experimentally manipulated during spatial working memory encoding. We hypothesized that, if affective perception is influenced by concurrent cognitive load using a working memory task, task-irrelevant emotional distractors would bias subsequent perceptual decision-making on ambiguous facial expression. We found that when either neutral or negative emotional words were presented as task-irrelevant working-memory distractors, participants more frequently reported fearful face perception - but only at the higher emotional intensity levels of morphed faces. Also, the affective perception bias due to negative emotional distractors correlated with a decrease in working memory performance. Taken together, our findings suggest that concurrent working memory load by task-irrelevant distractors has an impact on affective perception of facial expressions. PMID:25347772

  8. The influence of a working memory task on affective perception of facial expressions.

    PubMed

    Lim, Seung-Lark; Bruce, Amanda S; Aupperle, Robin L

    2014-01-01

    In a dual-task paradigm, participants performed a spatial location working memory task and a forced two-choice perceptual decision task (neutral vs. fearful) with gradually morphed emotional faces (neutral ∼ fearful). Task-irrelevant word distractors (negative, neutral, and control) were experimentally manipulated during spatial working memory encoding. We hypothesized that, if affective perception is influenced by concurrent cognitive load using a working memory task, task-irrelevant emotional distractors would bias subsequent perceptual decision-making on ambiguous facial expression. We found that when either neutral or negative emotional words were presented as task-irrelevant working-memory distractors, participants more frequently reported fearful face perception - but only at the higher emotional intensity levels of morphed faces. Also, the affective perception bias due to negative emotional distractors correlated with a decrease in working memory performance. Taken together, our findings suggest that concurrent working memory load by task-irrelevant distractors has an impact on affective perception of facial expressions.

  9. Emotion, working memory task demands and individual differences predict behavior, cognitive effort and negative affect.

    PubMed

    Storbeck, Justin; Davidson, Nicole A; Dahl, Chelsea F; Blass, Sara; Yung, Edwin

    2015-01-01

    We examined whether positive and negative affect motivates verbal and spatial working memory processes, respectively, which have implications for the expenditure of mental effort. We argue that when emotion promotes cognitive tendencies that are goal incompatible with task demands, greater cognitive effort is required to perform well. We sought to investigate whether this increase in cognitive effort impairs behavioural control over a broad domain of self-control tasks. Moreover, we predicted that individuals with higher behavioural inhibition system (BIS) sensitivities would report more negative affect within the goal incompatible conditions because such individuals report higher negative affect during cognitive challenge. Positive or negative affective states were induced followed by completing a verbal or spatial 2-back working memory task. All participants then completed one of three self-control tasks. Overall, we observed that conditions of emotion and working memory incompatibility (positive/spatial and negative/verbal) performed worse on the self-control tasks, and within the incompatible conditions individuals with higher BIS sensitivities reported more negative affect at the end of the study. The combination of findings suggests that emotion and working memory compatibility reduces cognitive effort and impairs behavioural control.

  10. Working Memory Load Affects Processing Time in Spoken Word Recognition: Evidence from Eye-Movements.

    PubMed

    Hadar, Britt; Skrzypek, Joshua E; Wingfield, Arthur; Ben-David, Boaz M

    2016-01-01

    In daily life, speech perception is usually accompanied by other tasks that tap into working memory capacity. However, the role of working memory on speech processing is not clear. The goal of this study was to examine how working memory load affects the timeline for spoken word recognition in ideal listening conditions. We used the "visual world" eye-tracking paradigm. The task consisted of spoken instructions referring to one of four objects depicted on a computer monitor (e.g., "point at the candle"). Half of the trials presented a phonological competitor to the target word that either overlapped in the initial syllable (onset) or at the last syllable (offset). Eye movements captured listeners' ability to differentiate the target noun from its depicted phonological competitor (e.g., candy or sandal). We manipulated working memory load by using a digit pre-load task, where participants had to retain either one (low-load) or four (high-load) spoken digits for the duration of a spoken word recognition trial. The data show that the high-load condition delayed real-time target discrimination. Specifically, a four-digit load was sufficient to delay the point of discrimination between the spoken target word and its phonological competitor. Our results emphasize the important role working memory plays in speech perception, even when performed by young adults in ideal listening conditions. PMID:27242424

  11. Working Memory Load Affects Processing Time in Spoken Word Recognition: Evidence from Eye-Movements

    PubMed Central

    Hadar, Britt; Skrzypek, Joshua E.; Wingfield, Arthur; Ben-David, Boaz M.

    2016-01-01

    In daily life, speech perception is usually accompanied by other tasks that tap into working memory capacity. However, the role of working memory on speech processing is not clear. The goal of this study was to examine how working memory load affects the timeline for spoken word recognition in ideal listening conditions. We used the “visual world” eye-tracking paradigm. The task consisted of spoken instructions referring to one of four objects depicted on a computer monitor (e.g., “point at the candle”). Half of the trials presented a phonological competitor to the target word that either overlapped in the initial syllable (onset) or at the last syllable (offset). Eye movements captured listeners' ability to differentiate the target noun from its depicted phonological competitor (e.g., candy or sandal). We manipulated working memory load by using a digit pre-load task, where participants had to retain either one (low-load) or four (high-load) spoken digits for the duration of a spoken word recognition trial. The data show that the high-load condition delayed real-time target discrimination. Specifically, a four-digit load was sufficient to delay the point of discrimination between the spoken target word and its phonological competitor. Our results emphasize the important role working memory plays in speech perception, even when performed by young adults in ideal listening conditions. PMID:27242424

  12. Daily variability in working memory is coupled with negative affect: the role of attention and motivation.

    PubMed

    Brose, Annette; Schmiedek, Florian; Lövdén, Martin; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2012-06-01

    Across days, individuals experience varying levels of negative affect, control of attention, and motivation. We investigated whether this intraindividual variability was coupled with daily fluctuations in working memory (WM) performance. In 100 days, 101 younger individuals worked on a spatial N-back task and rated negative affect, control of attention, and motivation. Results showed that individuals differed in how reliably WM performance fluctuated across days, and that subjective experiences were primarily linked to performance accuracy. WM performance was lower on days with higher levels of negative affect, reduced control of attention, and reduced task-related motivation. Thus, variables that were found to predict WM in between-subjects designs showed important relationships to WM at the within-person level. In addition, there was shared predictive variance among predictors of WM. Days with increased negative affect and reduced performance were also days with reduced control of attention and reduced motivation to work on tasks. These findings are in line with proposed mechanisms linking negative affect and cognitive performance.

  13. Hand proximity differentially affects visual working memory for color and orientation in a binding task.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Shane P; Brockmole, James R

    2014-01-01

    Observers determined whether two sequentially presented arrays of six lines were the same or different. Differences, when present, involved either a swap in the color of two lines or a swap in the orientation of two lines. Thus, accurate change detection required the binding of color and orientation information for each line within visual working memory. Holding viewing distance constant, the proximity of the arrays to the hands was manipulated. Placing the hands near the to-be-remembered array decreased participants' ability to remember color information, but increased their ability to remember orientation information. This pair of results indicates that hand proximity differentially affects the processing of various types of visual information, a conclusion broadly consistent with functional and anatomical differences in the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways. It further indicates that hand proximity affects the likelihood that various object features will be encoded into integrated object files. PMID:24795671

  14. From specificity to sensitivity: affective states modulate visual working memory for emotional expressive faces

    PubMed Central

    Maran, Thomas; Sachse, Pierre; Furtner, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Previous findings suggest that visual working memory (VWM) preferentially remembers angry looking faces. However, the meaning of facial actions is construed in relation to context. To date, there are no studies investigating the role of perceiver-based context when processing emotional cues in VWM. To explore the influence of affective context on VWM for faces, we conducted two experiments using both a VWM task for emotionally expressive faces and a mood induction procedure. Affective context was manipulated by unpleasant (Experiment 1) and pleasant (Experiment 2) IAPS pictures in order to induce an affect high in motivational intensity (defensive or appetitive, respectively) compared to a low arousal control condition. Results indicated specifically increased sensitivity of VWM for angry looking faces in the neutral condition. Enhanced VWM for angry faces was prevented by inducing affects of high motivational intensity. In both experiments, affective states led to a switch from specific enhancement of angry expressions in VWM to an equally sensitive representation of all emotional expressions. Our findings demonstrate that emotional expressions are of different behavioral relevance for the receiver depending on the affective context, supporting a functional organization of VWM along with flexible resource allocation. In VWM, stimulus processing adjusts to situational requirements and transitions from a specifically prioritizing default mode in predictable environments to a sensitive, hypervigilant mode in exposure to emotional events. PMID:26379609

  15. Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience.

    PubMed

    Jha, Amishi P; Stanley, Elizabeth A; Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Wong, Ling; Gelfand, Lois

    2010-02-01

    We investigated the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on working memory capacity (WMC) and affective experience. WMC is used in managing cognitive demands and regulating emotions. Yet, persistent and intensive demands, such as those experienced during high-stress intervals, may deplete WMC and lead to cognitive failures and emotional disturbances. We hypothesized that MT may mitigate these deleterious effects by bolstering WMC. We recruited 2 military cohorts during the high-stress predeployment interval and provided MT to 1 (MT, n = 31) but not the other group (military control group, MC, n = 17). The MT group attended an 8-week MT course and logged the amount of out-of-class time spent practicing formal MT exercises. The operation span task was used to index WMC at 2 testing sessions before and after the MT course. Although WMC remained stable over time in civilians (n = 12), it degraded in the MC group. In the MT group, WMC decreased over time in those with low MT practice time, but increased in those with high practice time. Higher MT practice time also corresponded to lower levels of negative affect and higher levels of positive affect (indexed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule). The relationship between practice time and negative, but not positive, affect was mediated by WMC, indicating that MT-related improvements in WMC may support some but not all of MT's salutary effects. Nonetheless, these findings suggest that sufficient MT practice may protect against functional impairments associated with high-stress contexts.

  16. Incidental learning of probability information is differentially affected by the type of visual working memory representation.

    PubMed

    van Lamsweerde, Amanda E; Beck, Melissa R

    2015-12-01

    In this study, we investigated whether the ability to learn probability information is affected by the type of representation held in visual working memory. Across 4 experiments, participants detected changes to displays of coloured shapes. While participants detected changes in 1 dimension (e.g., colour), a feature from a second, nonchanging dimension (e.g., shape) predicted which object was most likely to change. In Experiments 1 and 3, items could be grouped by similarity in the changing dimension across items (e.g., colours and shapes were repeated in the display), while in Experiments 2 and 4 items could not be grouped by similarity (all features were unique). Probability information from the predictive dimension was learned and used to increase performance, but only when all of the features within a display were unique (Experiments 2 and 4). When it was possible to group by feature similarity in the changing dimension (e.g., 2 blue objects appeared within an array), participants were unable to learn probability information and use it to improve performance (Experiments 1 and 3). The results suggest that probability information can be learned in a dimension that is not explicitly task-relevant, but only when the probability information is represented with the changing dimension in visual working memory. PMID:26010021

  17. Retrieval-practice task affects relationship between working memory capacity and retrieval-induced forgetting.

    PubMed

    Storm, Benjamin C; Bui, Dung C

    2016-11-01

    Retrieving a subset of items from memory can cause forgetting of other items in memory, a phenomenon referred to as retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF). Individuals who exhibit greater amounts of RIF have been shown to also exhibit superior working memory capacity (WMC) and faster stop-signal reaction times (SSRTs), results which have been interpreted as suggesting that RIF reflects an inhibitory process that is mediated by the processes of executive control. Across four experiments, we sought to further elucidate this issue by manipulating the way in which participants retrieved items during retrieval practice and examining how the resulting effects of forgetting correlated with WMC (Experiments 1-3) and SSRT (Experiment 4). Significant correlations were observed when participants retrieved items from an earlier study phase (within-list retrieval practice), but not when participants generated items from semantic memory (extra-list retrieval practice). These results provide important new insight into the role of executive-control processes in RIF.

  18. Are Early Grammatical and Phonological Working Memory Abilities Affected by Preterm Birth?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sansavini, Alessandra; Guarini, Annalisa; Alessandroni, Rosina; Faldella, Giacomo; Giovanelli, Giuliana; Salvioli, Gianpaolo

    2007-01-01

    There have been few investigations of the effects of very immature preterm birth on specific linguistic competencies and phonological working memory at preschool age. Study 1 aimed to investigate early grammatical abilities in very immature healthy preterms, taking into account their cognitive development and biological and social factors. The…

  19. ERP measures of math anxiety: how math anxiety affects working memory and mental calculation tasks?

    PubMed

    Klados, Manousos A; Simos, Panagiotis; Micheloyannis, Sifis; Margulies, Daniel; Bamidis, Panagiotis D

    2015-01-01

    There have been several attempts to account for the impact of Mathematical Anxiety (MA) on brain activity with variable results. The present study examines the effects of MA on ERP amplitude during performance of simple arithmetic calculations and working memory tasks. Data were obtained from 32 university students as they solved four types of arithmetic problems (one- and two-digit addition and multiplication) and a working memory task comprised of three levels of difficulty (1, 2, and 3-back task). Compared to the Low-MA group, High-MA individuals demonstrated reduced ERP amplitude at frontocentral (between 180-320 ms) and centroparietal locations (between 380-420 ms). These effects were independent of task difficulty/complexity, individual performance, and general state/trait anxiety levels. Results support the hypothesis that higher levels of self-reported MA are associated with lower cortical activation during the early stages of the processing of numeric stimuli in the context of cognitive tasks.

  20. Normal aging affects movement execution but not visual motion working memory and decision-making delay during cue-dependent memory-based smooth-pursuit.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Kikuro; Barnes, Graham R; Ito, Norie; Olley, Peter M; Warabi, Tateo

    2014-07-01

    Aging affects virtually all functions including sensory/motor and cognitive activities. While retinal image motion is the primary input for smooth-pursuit, its efficiency/accuracy depends on cognitive processes. Elderly subjects exhibit gain decrease during initial and steady-state pursuit, but reports on latencies are conflicting. Using a cue-dependent memory-based smooth-pursuit task, we identified important extra-retinal mechanisms for initial pursuit in young adults including cue information priming and extra-retinal drive components (Ito et al. in Exp Brain Res 229:23-35, 2013). We examined aging effects on parameters for smooth-pursuit using the same tasks. Elderly subjects were tested during three task conditions as previously described: memory-based pursuit, simple ramp-pursuit just to follow motion of a single spot, and popping-out of the correct spot during memory-based pursuit to enhance retinal image motion. Simple ramp-pursuit was used as a task that did not require visual motion working memory. To clarify aging effects, we then compared the results with the previous young subject data. During memory-based pursuit, elderly subjects exhibited normal working memory of cue information. Most movement-parameters including pursuit latencies differed significantly between memory-based pursuit and simple ramp-pursuit and also between young and elderly subjects. Popping-out of the correct spot motion was ineffective for enhancing initial pursuit in elderly subjects. However, the latency difference between memory-based pursuit and simple ramp-pursuit in individual subjects, which includes decision-making delay in the memory task, was similar between the two groups. Our results suggest that smooth-pursuit latencies depend on task conditions and that, although the extra-retinal mechanisms were functional for initial pursuit in elderly subjects, they were less effective.

  1. Normal aging affects movement execution but not visual motion working memory and decision-making delay during cue-dependent memory-based smooth-pursuit.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Kikuro; Barnes, Graham R; Ito, Norie; Olley, Peter M; Warabi, Tateo

    2014-07-01

    Aging affects virtually all functions including sensory/motor and cognitive activities. While retinal image motion is the primary input for smooth-pursuit, its efficiency/accuracy depends on cognitive processes. Elderly subjects exhibit gain decrease during initial and steady-state pursuit, but reports on latencies are conflicting. Using a cue-dependent memory-based smooth-pursuit task, we identified important extra-retinal mechanisms for initial pursuit in young adults including cue information priming and extra-retinal drive components (Ito et al. in Exp Brain Res 229:23-35, 2013). We examined aging effects on parameters for smooth-pursuit using the same tasks. Elderly subjects were tested during three task conditions as previously described: memory-based pursuit, simple ramp-pursuit just to follow motion of a single spot, and popping-out of the correct spot during memory-based pursuit to enhance retinal image motion. Simple ramp-pursuit was used as a task that did not require visual motion working memory. To clarify aging effects, we then compared the results with the previous young subject data. During memory-based pursuit, elderly subjects exhibited normal working memory of cue information. Most movement-parameters including pursuit latencies differed significantly between memory-based pursuit and simple ramp-pursuit and also between young and elderly subjects. Popping-out of the correct spot motion was ineffective for enhancing initial pursuit in elderly subjects. However, the latency difference between memory-based pursuit and simple ramp-pursuit in individual subjects, which includes decision-making delay in the memory task, was similar between the two groups. Our results suggest that smooth-pursuit latencies depend on task conditions and that, although the extra-retinal mechanisms were functional for initial pursuit in elderly subjects, they were less effective. PMID:24736861

  2. ERP measures of math anxiety: how math anxiety affects working memory and mental calculation tasks?

    PubMed Central

    Klados, Manousos A.; Simos, Panagiotis; Micheloyannis, Sifis; Margulies, Daniel; Bamidis, Panagiotis D.

    2015-01-01

    There have been several attempts to account for the impact of Mathematical Anxiety (MA) on brain activity with variable results. The present study examines the effects of MA on ERP amplitude during performance of simple arithmetic calculations and working memory tasks. Data were obtained from 32 university students as they solved four types of arithmetic problems (one- and two-digit addition and multiplication) and a working memory task comprised of three levels of difficulty (1, 2, and 3-back task). Compared to the Low-MA group, High-MA individuals demonstrated reduced ERP amplitude at frontocentral (between 180–320 ms) and centroparietal locations (between 380–420 ms). These effects were independent of task difficulty/complexity, individual performance, and general state/trait anxiety levels. Results support the hypothesis that higher levels of self-reported MA are associated with lower cortical activation during the early stages of the processing of numeric stimuli in the context of cognitive tasks. PMID:26578912

  3. ERP measures of math anxiety: how math anxiety affects working memory and mental calculation tasks?

    PubMed

    Klados, Manousos A; Simos, Panagiotis; Micheloyannis, Sifis; Margulies, Daniel; Bamidis, Panagiotis D

    2015-01-01

    There have been several attempts to account for the impact of Mathematical Anxiety (MA) on brain activity with variable results. The present study examines the effects of MA on ERP amplitude during performance of simple arithmetic calculations and working memory tasks. Data were obtained from 32 university students as they solved four types of arithmetic problems (one- and two-digit addition and multiplication) and a working memory task comprised of three levels of difficulty (1, 2, and 3-back task). Compared to the Low-MA group, High-MA individuals demonstrated reduced ERP amplitude at frontocentral (between 180-320 ms) and centroparietal locations (between 380-420 ms). These effects were independent of task difficulty/complexity, individual performance, and general state/trait anxiety levels. Results support the hypothesis that higher levels of self-reported MA are associated with lower cortical activation during the early stages of the processing of numeric stimuli in the context of cognitive tasks. PMID:26578912

  4. Divergent Trajectories in the Aging Mind: Changes in Working Memory for Affective Versus Visual Information With Age

    PubMed Central

    Mikels, Joseph A.; Larkin, Gregory R.; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.; Carstensen, Laura L.

    2009-01-01

    Working memory mediates the short-term maintenance of information. Virtually all empirical research on working memory involves investigations of working memory for verbal and visual information. Whereas aging is typically associated with a deficit in working memory for these types of information, recent findings suggestive of relatively well-preserved long-term memory for emotional information in older adults raise questions about working memory for emotional material. This study examined age differences in working memory for emotional versus visual information. Findings demonstrate that, despite an age-related deficit for the latter, working memory for emotion was unimpaired. Further, older adults exhibited superior performance on positive relative to negative emotion trials, whereas their younger counterparts exhibited the opposite pattern. PMID:16420130

  5. [Does Impulsivity Affect a Long-term and Working Memory in rats?].

    PubMed

    Zaichenko, M I; Bazhenova, D A; Grigoryan, G A; Merzhanova, G Kh

    2016-01-01

    In the present paper usingthe method of delay discounting three groups of animals were discovered: a) those that at choice between immediate weak and delayed strong rewards have chosen an immediate reinforcement (high impulsive rats); b) those that were able to inhibit its own behavior and get the delayed reinforcement (low impulsive rats); and c) the rats with both types of reactions. In the water maze the different groups of rats did find a hidden platform for different time, swum various distance and with different speed. The differences however were significant only at overall comparison (for all days and trials) of the above mentioned parameters of the water maze learning. ANOVAs Group x Days, Group x Trials, and Groups x Days x Trials interactions were insignificant. The data obtained indicate that the difference between groups was appeared evidently due to the difference in general motor activity, rather than difference in their cognitive abilities assessed by reference and working memory tasks. PMID:27263278

  6. Transient perceptual neglect: visual working memory load affects conscious object processing.

    PubMed

    Emrich, Stephen M; Burianová, Hana; Ferber, Susanne

    2011-10-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is a capacity-limited cognitive resource that plays an important role in complex cognitive behaviors. Recent studies indicate that regions subserving VWM may play a role in the perception and recognition of visual objects, suggesting that conscious object perception may depend on the same cognitive and neural architecture that supports the maintenance of visual object information. In the present study, we examined this question by testing object processing under a concurrent VWM load. Under a high VWM load, recognition was impaired for objects presented in the left visual field, in particular when two objects were presented simultaneously. Multivariate fMRI revealed that two independent but partially overlapping networks of brain regions contribute to object recognition. The first network consisted of regions involved in VWM encoding and maintenance. Importantly, these regions were also sensitive to object load. The second network comprised regions of the ventral temporal lobes traditionally associated with object recognition. Importantly, activation in both networks predicted object recognition performance. These results indicate that information processing in regions that mediate VWM may be critical to conscious visual perception. Moreover, the observation of a hemifield asymmetry in object recognition performance has important theoretical and clinical significance for the study of visual neglect.

  7. The impact of affective contexts on working memory capacity in healthy populations and in individuals with PTSD.

    PubMed

    Schweizer, Susanne; Dalgleish, Tim

    2016-02-01

    Individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) strongly predict variations in real-world cognitive functioning. However, little is known about how WMC is influenced by the ubiquitously present affective information in our everyday environments. Here, we present a series of 3 experiments investigating a novel WMC paradigm performed in affective (vs. neutral) contexts. The paradigm requires simultaneous performance of a visuospatial search and a verbal storage task. These tasks are performed in the presence of either neutral or negative emotional distractor images. Experiments 1 and 2 confirmed our prediction that WMC would be reduced in the context of emotional compared with neutral distractors in student and community samples. Experiment 3 extended these findings to a clinical sample. WMC in motor vehicle accident survivors with a history of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was selectively reduced in the presence of trauma-related emotional distraction compared with survivors without a history of PTSD. Implications of these findings for affective cognitive science are discussed.

  8. The "working" of working memory.

    PubMed

    Miller, Earl K

    2013-12-01

    This review examines the evidence for a neurobiological explanation of executive functions of working memory. We suggest that executive control stems from information about task rules acquired by mixed selective, adaptive coding, multifunctional neurons in the prefrontal cortex. The output of these neurons dynamically links the cortex-wide networks needed to complete the task. The linking may occur via synchronizing of neural rhythms, which may explain why we have a limited capacity for simultaneous thought.

  9. Memory Retrieval and Interference: Working Memory Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; Copeland, David E.

    2006-01-01

    Working memory capacity has been suggested as a factor that is involved in long-term memory retrieval, particularly when that retrieval involves a need to overcome some sort of interference (Bunting, Conway, & Heitz, 2004; Cantor & Engle, 1993). Previous work has suggested that working memory is related to the acquisition of information during…

  10. Is Working Memory Training Effective?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shipstead, Zach; Redick, Thomas S.; Engle, Randall W.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is a cognitive system that strongly relates to a person's ability to reason with novel information and direct attention to goal-relevant information. Due to the central role that WM plays in general cognition, it has become the focus of a rapidly growing training literature that seeks to affect broad cognitive change through…

  11. Cognition-emotion interactions in schizophrenia: emerging evidence on working memory load and implicit facial-affective processing.

    PubMed

    Mano, Quintino R; Brown, Gregory G

    2013-01-01

    Although much is known about working memory (WM) and emotion perception deficits in schizophrenia, little is known of how these deficits interact. We sought to address this gap by conducting a narrative review of relevant literatures and distilling core themes. First, people with schizophrenia have difficulty with high load and during initial phases of WM (e.g., encoding, early rehearsal), yet are able to activate WM-related prefrontal brain regions to the same maximal degree as comparison controls under certain circumstances. Second, people with schizophrenia have difficulty identifying and expressing facial emotions, yet demonstrate heightened automatic/implicit processing of facial emotions. Third, people with schizophrenia behaviourally demonstrate intact cognition-emotion interactions on laboratory tasks wherein emotional processing is automatic/implicit, yet demonstrate cognition-emotion disconnections in other levels of analysis. Insights are drawn from basic science showing interdependency between WM load and implicit emotion. Future research questions are raised regarding interactions between WM load and implicit facial-affective processing in schizophrenia.

  12. Working Memory Deficits Affect Risky Decision-Making in Methamphetamine Users with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Duarte, Nichole A.; Woods, Steven Paul; Rooney, Alexandra; Atkinson, J. Hampton; Grant, Igor

    2012-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) use and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) commonly co-occur and are independently associated with dysregulation of frontostriatal loops and risky decision-making; however, whether their comorbidity exacerbates risky decision-making is not known. This study evaluated 23 participants with histories of MA dependence and ADHD (MA+ADHD+), 25 subjects with MA dependence alone (MA+ADHD−), and 22 healthy adults (MA−ADHD−), who completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) as part of a larger neuropsychiatric research evaluation. Results showed a significant interaction between ADHD, MA, and working memory, such that individuals with working memory deficits in the ADHD+MA+ cohort demonstrated the strongest propensity to select cards from “disadvantageous” versus “advantageous” decks on the IGT. This effect was unique to working memory and was not better explained by other psychiatric, substance use, or neuromedical factors. Findings suggest that working memory deficits may moderate the expression of risky decision-making in MA users with ADHD. PMID:22305489

  13. How Does Processing Affect Storage in Working Memory Tasks? Evidence for Both Domain-General and Domain-Specific Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarrold, Christopher; Tam, Helen; Baddeley, Alan D.; Harvey, Caroline E.

    2011-01-01

    Two studies that examine whether the forgetting caused by the processing demands of working memory tasks is domain-general or domain-specific are presented. In each, separate groups of adult participants were asked to carry out either verbal or nonverbal operations on exactly the same processing materials while maintaining verbal storage items.…

  14. Neonatal infection with neurotropic influenza A virus affects working memory and expression of type III Nrg1 in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Asp, Linnéa; Beraki, Simret; Kristensson, Krister; Ogren, Sven Ove; Karlsson, Håkan

    2009-08-01

    Epidemiological studies suggest that early life infections may contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive deficits. Here, we studied the effects of a neonatal influenza A/WSN/33 virus infection on locomotor activity, working memory and emotional behavior in adult mice. In addition to wild type mice, immunodeficient (Tap1(-/-)) mice lacking functional CD8(+) T cells, were included in the study to model the potential influence of a genetic deficit relating to virus clearance. Three to four months after the infection, infected Tap1(-/-) mice, but not wild type mice, exhibited deficits in working memory as well as increased rearing activity and anxiety. In the medial prefrontal cortices of these infected Tap1(-/-) mice reduced levels of type III Nrg1 transcripts were observed supporting a role for neuregulin 1 signaling in neuronal circuits involved in working memory. Virus replication, distribution or clearance did not differ between the two genotypes. The lack of CD8(+) T cells, however, appeared to contribute to a more pronounced glia response in Tap1(-/-) than in wild type mice. Thus, the present study suggest that the risk of developing deficits in cognitive and emotional behavior following a CNS infection during brain development is influenced by genetic variation in genes involved in the immune response.

  15. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory.

    PubMed

    Sligte, Ilja G; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2010-01-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) enables us to actively maintain information in mind for a brief period of time after stimulus disappearance. According to recent studies, VSTM consists of three stages - iconic memory, fragile VSTM, and visual working memory - with increasingly stricter capacity limits and progressively longer lifetimes. Still, the resolution (or amount of visual detail) of each VSTM stage has remained unexplored and we test this in the present study. We presented people with a change detection task that measures the capacity of all three forms of VSTM, and we added an identification display after each change trial that required people to identify the "pre-change" object. Accurate change detection plus pre-change identification requires subjects to have a high-resolution representation of the "pre-change" object, whereas change detection or identification only can be based on the hunch that something has changed, without exactly knowing what was presented before. We observed that people maintained 6.1 objects in iconic memory, 4.6 objects in fragile VSTM, and 2.1 objects in visual working memory. Moreover, when people detected the change, they could also identify the pre-change object on 88% of the iconic memory trials, on 71% of the fragile VSTM trials and merely on 53% of the visual working memory trials. This suggests that people maintain many high-resolution representations in iconic memory and fragile VSTM, but only one high-resolution object representation in visual working memory. PMID:21897823

  16. Evolution of working memory

    PubMed Central

    Carruthers, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is fundamental to many aspects of human life, including learning, speech and text comprehension, prospection and future planning, and explicit “system 2” forms of reasoning, as well as overlapping heavily with fluid general intelligence. WM has been intensively studied for many decades, and there is a growing consensus about its nature, its components, and its signature limits. Remarkably, given its central importance in human life, there has been very little comparative investigation of WM abilities across species. Consequently, much remains unknown about the evolution of this important human capacity. Some questions can be tentatively answered from the existing comparative literature. Even studies that were not intended to do so can nonetheless shed light on the WM capacities of nonhuman animals. However, many questions remain. PMID:23754428

  17. Mental Imagery and Visual Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory - but not iconic visual memory - can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance diminished performance on visual working memory and imagery tasks, but not working memory for number strings. This suggests that luminance signals were disrupting sensory-based imagery mechanisms and not a general working memory system. Individuals with poor imagery still performed above chance in the visual working memory task, but their performance was not affected by the background luminance, suggesting a dichotomy in strategies for visual working memory: individuals with strong mental imagery rely on sensory-based imagery to support mnemonic performance, while those with poor imagery rely on different strategies. These findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage. PMID:22195024

  18. Mental imagery and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory--but not iconic visual memory--can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance diminished performance on visual working memory and imagery tasks, but not working memory for number strings. This suggests that luminance signals were disrupting sensory-based imagery mechanisms and not a general working memory system. Individuals with poor imagery still performed above chance in the visual working memory task, but their performance was not affected by the background luminance, suggesting a dichotomy in strategies for visual working memory: individuals with strong mental imagery rely on sensory-based imagery to support mnemonic performance, while those with poor imagery rely on different strategies. These findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage.

  19. Working memory's workload capacity.

    PubMed

    Heathcote, Andrew; Coleman, James R; Eidels, Ami; Watson, Jason M; Houpt, Joseph; Strayer, David L

    2015-10-01

    We examined the role of dual-task interference in working memory using a novel dual two-back task that requires a redundant-target response (i.e., a response that neither the auditory nor the visual stimulus occurred two back versus a response that one or both occurred two back) on every trial. Comparisons with performance on single two-back trials (i.e., with only auditory or only visual stimuli) showed that dual-task demands reduced both speed and accuracy. Our task design enabled a novel application of Townsend and Nozawa's (Journal of Mathematical Psychology 39: 321-359, 1995) workload capacity measure, which revealed that the decrement in dual two-back performance was mediated by the sharing of a limited amount of processing capacity. Relative to most other single and dual n-back tasks, performance measures for our task were more reliable, due to the use of a small stimulus set that induced a high and constant level of proactive interference. For a version of our dual two-back task that minimized response bias, accuracy was also more strongly correlated with complex span than has been found for most other single and dual n-back tasks.

  20. [Working memory: neuropsychological and neurobiological issues].

    PubMed

    Borkowska, Alina; Wiłkość, Monika; Tomaszewska, Marta; Rybakowski, Janusz

    2006-01-01

    Working memory denotes an ability to remember information for a short-time and to manipulate it. The memory allows including correct information depending on the situation, to keep the information on present activities for a while and enables changing the reaction according to new criteria. The relation between working memory and efficiency of complex cognitive processes and also with the control of emotional processes, plasticity of behaviour and consciousness was demonstrated. Working memory is connected with the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain. Recently, it has been shown, that working memory disturbances play an important role in the aetiopathogenesis of psychiatric disturbances such as schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Working memory disturbances are also shown in a proportion of healthy first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. Working memory disturbances are presently regarded as a cognitive endophenotypic marker of vulnerability to these illnesses. In recent years, an association between working memory abilities and activity of different neurotransmitters, especially with the dopaminergic system in the brain, has been shown. Molecular genetic studies show an association between working memory abilities and polymorphism of the dopaminergic system genes in schizophrenia and polymorphism of BDNF gene in bipolar affective disorders. So far not much data about the genetics of working memory in healthy subjects has been gathered. Currently in Poland such research is carried on in the Clinical Neuropsychology Unit Nicolaus Copernicus University, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz in cooperation with the Department of Adult Psychiatry and Laboratory of Psychiatric Genetics University of Medical Sciences in Poznań.

  1. Working Memory: A Selective Review.

    PubMed

    Kent, Phillip L

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a selective overview of the evolution of the concept and assessment of working memory, and how its assessment has been confused with the assessment of some components of attention. A literature search using PsychNet Gold was conducted using the terms working memory. In addition, the writer reviewed recommendations from a sampling of recent neuropsychology texts in regard to the assessment of attention and working memory, as well as the two most recent editions of the Wechsler Memory Scale. It is argued that many clinicians have an incomplete understanding of the relationship between attention and working memory, and often conflate the two in assessment and treatment. Suggestions were made for assessing these abilities. PMID:27191213

  2. Short-term changes in endogenous estrogen levels and consumption of soy isoflavones affect working and verbal memory in young adult females.

    PubMed

    Islam, Fariha; Sparkes, Cassandra; Roodenrys, Steven; Astheimer, Lee

    2008-12-01

    Estrogen is known to modulate certain cognitive functions, most notably improving working memory and verbal memory. Soy foods contain isoflavones, phytoestrogens structurally similar to estrogen that weakly bind to estrogen receptors. We investigated the effects of natural variations in estrogen levels and short-term dietary supplementation with soy isoflavones on cognitive function in 28 young women. Performance was examined across a range of cognitive tasks on three occasions during separate menstrual cycles: during a menses phase (low estrogen), during a luteal phase (highest estrogen), and once during a menses phase after a 3-day phytoestrogen-rich dietary intervention. Soy supplementation during menses led to an improvement in working memory and verbal memory. The menstrual cycle effects were mixed, with high estrogen improving performance on a verbal memory task but not on working memory. Our results suggest that soy phytoestrogens may improve working memory through estrogen-independent mechanisms. PMID:19000378

  3. Socioaffective factors modulate working memory in schizophrenia patients.

    PubMed

    Park, S; Gibson, C; McMichael, T

    2006-04-28

    Working memory deficit in schizophrenia is a core cognitive feature of the disorder and is reliably associated with abnormalities of the prefrontal circuitry. Working memory deficits are also associated with impaired social functioning and present a major obstacle toward successful rehabilitation in schizophrenia. Although the role of prefrontal cortex in working memory has been extensively investigated, the intricate relations among the prefrontal circuitry, working memory and social behaviors are not clearly understood. In this study, we manipulated social context and observed its effects on spatial working memory. In experiment 1, the effects of social and asocial reinforcements on spatial working memory were examined in schizophrenic patients and healthy controls. The results show that social but not asocial reinforcements facilitated spatial working memory in schizophrenic patients. In experiment 2, the effects of human voice reinforcements (with or without affect) on working memory was investigated. Voice reinforcements did not facilitate working memory relative to the no-reinforcement condition. There was no difference between high-affect vs flat-affect voice conditions. In experiment 3, the effects of direct and indirect social interactions on spatial working memory were studied. Direct but not indirect social interaction facilitated working memory in schizophrenic patients. These results suggest that social context might facilitate working memory in schizophrenic patients perhaps by activating frontal lobe systems. In addition, the possibility of improving cognitive functions such as working memory using seemingly non-cognitive methods might lead to potential remediation strategies.

  4. Working Memory Goes to School.

    PubMed

    Prince, Pauline; Gifford, Kathleen

    2016-01-01

    This article endeavors to provide a comprehensive developmental perspective of Working Memory in the classroom. Instructional implications will be discussed as they apply to preschool, elementary and secondary education. It is the intent of this paper to also provide food for thought about working memory as it applies to other aspects of the school day, such as physical education and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. PMID:27191216

  5. The Relationships of Working Memory, Secondary Memory, and General Fluid Intelligence: Working Memory Is Special

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shelton, Jill Talley; Elliott, Emily M.; Matthews, Russell A.; Hill, B. D.; Gouvier, Wm. Drew

    2010-01-01

    Recent efforts have been made to elucidate the commonly observed link between working memory and reasoning ability. The results have been inconsistent, with some work suggesting that the emphasis placed on retrieval from secondary memory by working memory tests is the driving force behind this association (Mogle, Lovett, Stawski, & Sliwinski,…

  6. Distinguishing short-term memory from working memory.

    PubMed

    Kail, R; Hall, L K

    2001-01-01

    The aim of the present research was to determine whether short-term memory and working memory could be distinguished. In two studies, 7- to 13-year-olds (N = 155, N = 132) were administered tasks thought to assess short-term memory as well as tasks thought to assess working memory. Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses distinguished short-term memory tasks from working memory tasks. In addition, performance on working memory tasks was related to word decoding skill but performance on short-term memory tasks was not. Finally, performance on both short-term memory and working memory tasks were associated with age-related increases in processing speed. Results are discussed in relation to models of short-term and working memory.

  7. Memory systems interaction in the pigeon: working and reference memory.

    PubMed

    Roberts, William A; Strang, Caroline; Macpherson, Krista

    2015-04-01

    Pigeons' performance on a working memory task, symbolic delayed matching-to-sample, was used to examine the interaction between working memory and reference memory. Reference memory was established by training pigeons to discriminate between the comparison cues used in delayed matching as S+ and S- stimuli. Delayed matching retention tests then measured accuracy when working and reference memory were congruent and incongruent. In 4 experiments, it was shown that the interaction between working and reference memory is reciprocal: Strengthening either type of memory leads to a decrease in the influence of the other type of memory. A process dissociation procedure analysis of the data from Experiment 4 showed independence of working and reference memory, and a model of working memory and reference memory interaction was shown to predict the findings reported in the 4 experiments. (PsycINFO Database Record

  8. Is working memory training effective?

    PubMed

    Shipstead, Zach; Redick, Thomas S; Engle, Randall W

    2012-07-01

    Working memory (WM) is a cognitive system that strongly relates to a person's ability to reason with novel information and direct attention to goal-relevant information. Due to the central role that WM plays in general cognition, it has become the focus of a rapidly growing training literature that seeks to affect broad cognitive change through prolonged training on WM tasks. Recent work has suggested that the effects of WM training extend to general fluid intelligence, attentional control, and reductions in symptoms of ADHD. We present a theoretically motivated perspective of WM and subsequently review the WM training literature in light of several concerns. These include (a) the tendency for researchers to define change to abilities using single tasks, (b) inconsistent use of valid WM tasks, (c) no-contact control groups, and (d) subjective measurement of change. The literature review highlights several findings that warrant further research but ultimately concludes that there is a need to directly demonstrate that WM capacity increases in response to training. Specifically, we argue that transfer of training to WM must be demonstrated using a wider variety of tasks, thus eliminating the possibility that results can be explained by task specific learning. Additionally, we express concern that many of the most promising results (e.g., increased intelligence) cannot be readily attributed to changes in WM capacity. Thus, a critical goal for future research is to uncover the mechanisms that lead to transfer of training.

  9. Working, declarative and procedural memory in specific language impairment.

    PubMed

    Lum, Jarrad A G; Conti-Ramsden, Gina; Page, Debra; Ullman, Michael T

    2012-10-01

    According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), abnormalities of brain structures underlying procedural memory largely explain the language deficits in children with specific language impairment (SLI). These abnormalities are posited to result in core deficits of procedural memory, which in turn explain the grammar problems in the disorder. The abnormalities are also likely to lead to problems with other, non-procedural functions, such as working memory, that rely at least partly on the affected brain structures. In contrast, declarative memory is expected to remain largely intact, and should play an important compensatory role for grammar. These claims were tested by examining measures of working, declarative and procedural memory in 51 children with SLI and 51 matched typically-developing (TD) children (mean age 10). Working memory was assessed with the Working Memory Test Battery for Children, declarative memory with the Children's Memory Scale, and procedural memory with a visuo-spatial Serial Reaction Time task. As compared to the TD children, the children with SLI were impaired at procedural memory, even when holding working memory constant. In contrast, they were spared at declarative memory for visual information, and at declarative memory in the verbal domain after controlling for working memory and language. Visuo-spatial short-term memory was intact, whereas verbal working memory was impaired, even when language deficits were held constant. Correlation analyses showed neither visuo-spatial nor verbal working memory was associated with either lexical or grammatical abilities in either the SLI or TD children. Declarative memory correlated with lexical abilities in both groups of children. Finally, grammatical abilities were associated with procedural memory in the TD children, but with declarative memory in the children with SLI. These findings replicate and extend previous studies of working, declarative and procedural memory in SLI. Overall, we

  10. Dynamics of auditory working memory

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Jochen

    2015-01-01

    Working memory denotes the ability to retain stimuli in mind that are no longer physically present and to perform mental operations on them. Electro- and magnetoencephalography allow investigating the short-term maintenance of acoustic stimuli at a high temporal resolution. Studies investigating working memory for non-spatial and spatial auditory information have suggested differential roles of regions along the putative auditory ventral and dorsal streams, respectively, in the processing of the different sound properties. Analyses of event-related potentials have shown sustained, memory load-dependent deflections over the retention periods. The topography of these waves suggested an involvement of modality-specific sensory storage regions. Spectral analysis has yielded information about the temporal dynamics of auditory working memory processing of individual stimuli, showing activation peaks during the delay phase whose timing was related to task performance. Coherence at different frequencies was enhanced between frontal and sensory cortex. In summary, auditory working memory seems to rely on the dynamic interplay between frontal executive systems and sensory representation regions. PMID:26029146

  11. Memory conformity affects inaccurate memories more than accurate memories.

    PubMed

    Wright, Daniel B; Villalba, Daniella K

    2012-01-01

    After controlling for initial confidence, inaccurate memories were shown to be more easily distorted than accurate memories. In two experiments groups of participants viewed 50 stimuli and were then presented with these stimuli plus 50 fillers. During this test phase participants reported their confidence that each stimulus was originally shown. This was followed by computer-generated responses from a bogus participant. After being exposed to this response participants again rated the confidence of their memory. The computer-generated responses systematically distorted participants' responses. Memory distortion depended on initial memory confidence, with uncertain memories being more malleable than confident memories. This effect was moderated by whether the participant's memory was initially accurate or inaccurate. Inaccurate memories were more malleable than accurate memories. The data were consistent with a model describing two types of memory (i.e., recollective and non-recollective memories), which differ in how susceptible these memories are to memory distortion.

  12. Can Interactive Working Memory Training Improve Learning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy

    2012-01-01

    Background: Working memory is linked to learning outcomes and there is emerging evidence that training working memory can yield gains in working memory and fluid intelligence. Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether interactive working memory training would transfer to acquired cognitive skills, such as vocabulary and…

  13. Can verbal working memory training improve reading?

    PubMed

    Banales, Erin; Kohnen, Saskia; McArthur, Genevieve

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to determine whether poor verbal working memory is associated with poor word reading accuracy because the former causes the latter, or the latter causes the former. To this end, we tested whether (a) verbal working memory training improves poor verbal working memory or poor word reading accuracy, and whether (b) reading training improves poor reading accuracy or verbal working memory in a case series of four children with poor word reading accuracy and verbal working memory. Each child completed 8 weeks of verbal working memory training and 8 weeks of reading training. Verbal working memory training improved verbal working memory in two of the four children, but did not improve their reading accuracy. Similarly, reading training improved word reading accuracy in all children, but did not improve their verbal working memory. These results suggest that the causal links between verbal working memory and reading accuracy may not be as direct as has been assumed.

  14. Negative Affect Impairs Associative Memory but Not Item Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bisby, James A.; Burgess, Neil

    2014-01-01

    The formation of associations between items and their context has been proposed to rely on mechanisms distinct from those supporting memory for a single item. Although emotional experiences can profoundly affect memory, our understanding of how it interacts with different aspects of memory remains unclear. We performed three experiments to examine…

  15. Working and strategic memory deficits in schizophrenia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stone, M.; Gabrieli, J. D.; Stebbins, G. T.; Sullivan, E. V.

    1998-01-01

    Working memory and its contribution to performance on strategic memory tests in schizophrenia were studied. Patients (n = 18) and control participants (n = 15), all men, received tests of immediate memory (forward digit span), working memory (listening, computation, and backward digit span), and long-term strategic (free recall, temporal order, and self-ordered pointing) and nonstrategic (recognition) memory. Schizophrenia patients performed worse on all tests. Education, verbal intelligence, and immediate memory capacity did not account for deficits in working memory in schizophrenia patients. Reduced working memory capacity accounted for group differences in strategic memory but not in recognition memory. Working memory impairment may be central to the profile of impaired cognitive performance in schizophrenia and is consistent with hypothesized frontal lobe dysfunction associated with this disease. Additional medial-temporal dysfunction may account for the recognition memory deficit.

  16. Working Memory and Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, A.; Jarrold, C.

    2007-01-01

    A brief account is given of the evolution of the concept of working memory from a unitary store into a multicomponent system. Four components are distinguished, the phonological loop which is responsible for maintaining speech-based information, the visuospatial sketchpad performing a similar function for visual information, the central executive…

  17. Methamphetamine-induced short-term increase and long-term decrease in spatial working memory affects protein Kinase M zeta (PKMζ), dopamine, and glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Braren, Stephen H; Drapala, Damian; Tulloch, Ingrid K; Serrano, Peter A

    2014-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) is a toxic, addictive drug shown to modulate learning and memory, yet the neural mechanisms are not fully understood. We investigated the effects of 2 weekly injections of MA (30 mg/kg) on working memory using the radial 8-arm maze (RAM) across 5 weeks in adolescent-age mice. MA-treated mice show a significant improvement in working memory performance 1 week following the first MA injection compared to saline-injected controls. Following 5 weeks of MA abstinence mice were re-trained on a reference and working memory version of the RAM to assess cognitive flexibility. MA-treated mice show significantly more working memory errors without effects on reference memory performance. The hippocampus and dorsal striatum were assessed for expression of glutamate receptors subunits, GluA2 and GluN2B; dopamine markers, dopamine 1 receptor (D1), dopamine transporter (DAT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH); and memory markers, protein kinase M zeta (PKMζ) and protein kinase C zeta (PKCζ). Within the hippocampus, PKMζ and GluA2 are both significantly reduced after MA supporting the poor memory performance. Additionally, a significant increase in GluN2B and decrease in D1 identifies dysregulated synaptic function. In the striatum, MA treatment increased cytosolic DAT and TH levels associated with dopamine hyperfunction. MA treatment significantly reduced GluN2B while increasing both PKMζ and PKCζ within the striatum. We discuss the potential role of PKMζ/PKCζ in modulating dopamine and glutamate receptors after MA treatment. These results identify potential underlying mechanisms for working memory deficits induced by MA. PMID:25566006

  18. Illumination influences working memory: an EEG study.

    PubMed

    Park, Jin Young; Min, Byoung-Kyong; Jung, Young-Chul; Pak, Hyensou; Jeong, Yeon-Hong; Kim, Eosu

    2013-09-01

    Illumination conditions appear to influence working efficacy in everyday life. In the present study, we obtained electroencephalogram (EEG) correlates of working-memory load, and investigated how these waveforms are modulated by illumination conditions. We hypothesized that illumination conditions may affect cognitive performance. We designed an EEG study to monitor and record participants' EEG during the Sternberg working memory task under four different illumination conditions. Illumination conditions were generated with a factorial design of two color-temperatures (3000 and 7100 K) by two illuminance levels (150 and 700 lx). During a working memory task, we observed that high illuminance led to significantly lower frontal EEG theta activity than did low illuminance. These differences persisted despite no significant difference in task performance between illumination conditions. We found that the latency of an early event-related potential component, such as N1, was significantly modulated by the illumination condition. The fact that the illumination condition affects brain activity but not behavioral performance suggests that the lighting conditions used in the present study did not influence the performance stage of behavioral processing. Nevertheless, our findings provide objective evidence that illumination conditions modulate brain activity. Further studies are necessary to refine the optimal lighting parameters for facilitating working memory.

  19. Are age-related differences between young and older adults in an affective working memory test sensitive to the music effects?

    PubMed

    Borella, Erika; Carretti, Barbara; Grassi, Massimo; Nucci, Massimo; Sciore, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    There are evidences showing that music can affect cognitive performance by improving our emotional state. The aim of the current study was to analyze whether age-related differences between young and older adults in a Working Memory (WM) Span test in which the stimuli to be recalled have a different valence (i.e., neutral, positive, or negative words), are sensitive to exposure to music. Because some previous studies showed that emotional words can sustain older adults' performance in WM, we examined whether listening to music could enhance the benefit of emotional material, with respect to neutral words, on WM performance decreasing the age-related difference between younger and older adults. In particular, the effect of two types of music (Mozart vs. Albinoni), which differ in tempo, arousal and mood induction, on age-related differences in an affective version of the Operation WM Span task was analyzed. Results showed no effect of music on the WM test regardless of the emotional content of the music (Mozart vs. Albinoni). However, a valence effect for the words in the WM task was found with a higher number of negative words recalled with respect to positive and neutral ones in both younger and older adults. When individual differences in terms of accuracy in the processing phase of the Operation Span task were considered, only younger low-performing participants were affected by the type music, with the Albinoni condition that lowered their performance with respect to the Mozart condition. Such a result suggests that individual differences in WM performance, at least when young adults are considered, could be affected by the type of music. Altogether, these findings suggest that complex span tasks, such as WM tasks, along with age-related differences are not sensitive to music effects. PMID:25426064

  20. Are age-related differences between young and older adults in an affective working memory test sensitive to the music effects?

    PubMed

    Borella, Erika; Carretti, Barbara; Grassi, Massimo; Nucci, Massimo; Sciore, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    There are evidences showing that music can affect cognitive performance by improving our emotional state. The aim of the current study was to analyze whether age-related differences between young and older adults in a Working Memory (WM) Span test in which the stimuli to be recalled have a different valence (i.e., neutral, positive, or negative words), are sensitive to exposure to music. Because some previous studies showed that emotional words can sustain older adults' performance in WM, we examined whether listening to music could enhance the benefit of emotional material, with respect to neutral words, on WM performance decreasing the age-related difference between younger and older adults. In particular, the effect of two types of music (Mozart vs. Albinoni), which differ in tempo, arousal and mood induction, on age-related differences in an affective version of the Operation WM Span task was analyzed. Results showed no effect of music on the WM test regardless of the emotional content of the music (Mozart vs. Albinoni). However, a valence effect for the words in the WM task was found with a higher number of negative words recalled with respect to positive and neutral ones in both younger and older adults. When individual differences in terms of accuracy in the processing phase of the Operation Span task were considered, only younger low-performing participants were affected by the type music, with the Albinoni condition that lowered their performance with respect to the Mozart condition. Such a result suggests that individual differences in WM performance, at least when young adults are considered, could be affected by the type of music. Altogether, these findings suggest that complex span tasks, such as WM tasks, along with age-related differences are not sensitive to music effects.

  1. Are age-related differences between young and older adults in an affective working memory test sensitive to the music effects?

    PubMed Central

    Borella, Erika; Carretti, Barbara; Grassi, Massimo; Nucci, Massimo; Sciore, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    There are evidences showing that music can affect cognitive performance by improving our emotional state. The aim of the current study was to analyze whether age-related differences between young and older adults in a Working Memory (WM) Span test in which the stimuli to be recalled have a different valence (i.e., neutral, positive, or negative words), are sensitive to exposure to music. Because some previous studies showed that emotional words can sustain older adults’ performance in WM, we examined whether listening to music could enhance the benefit of emotional material, with respect to neutral words, on WM performance decreasing the age-related difference between younger and older adults. In particular, the effect of two types of music (Mozart vs. Albinoni), which differ in tempo, arousal and mood induction, on age-related differences in an affective version of the Operation WM Span task was analyzed. Results showed no effect of music on the WM test regardless of the emotional content of the music (Mozart vs. Albinoni). However, a valence effect for the words in the WM task was found with a higher number of negative words recalled with respect to positive and neutral ones in both younger and older adults. When individual differences in terms of accuracy in the processing phase of the Operation Span task were considered, only younger low-performing participants were affected by the type music, with the Albinoni condition that lowered their performance with respect to the Mozart condition. Such a result suggests that individual differences in WM performance, at least when young adults are considered, could be affected by the type of music. Altogether, these findings suggest that complex span tasks, such as WM tasks, along with age-related differences are not sensitive to music effects. PMID:25426064

  2. Evidence against decay in verbal working memory.

    PubMed

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2013-05-01

    The article tests the assumption that forgetting in working memory for verbal materials is caused by time-based decay, using the complex-span paradigm. Participants encoded 6 letters for serial recall; each letter was preceded and followed by a processing period comprising 4 trials of difficult visual search. Processing duration, during which memory could decay, was manipulated via search set size. This manipulation increased retention interval by up to 100% without having any effect on recall accuracy. This result held with and without articulatory suppression. Two experiments using a dual-task paradigm showed that the visual search process required central attention. Thus, even when memory maintenance by central attention and by articulatory rehearsal was prevented, a large delay had no effect on memory performance, contrary to the decay notion. Most previous experiments that manipulated the retention interval and the opportunity for maintenance processes in complex span have confounded these variables with time pressure during processing periods. Three further experiments identified time pressure as the variable that affected recall. We conclude that time-based decay does not contribute to the capacity limit of verbal working memory. PMID:22866686

  3. Effects of facial expression on working memory.

    PubMed

    Stiernströmer, Emelie S; Wolgast, Martin; Johansson, Mikael

    2016-08-01

    In long-term memory (LTM) emotional content may both enhance and impair memory, however, disagreement remains whether emotional content exerts different effects on the ability to maintain and manipulate information over short intervals. Using a working-memory (WM) recognition task requiring the monitoring of faces displaying facial expressions of emotion, participants judged each face as identical (target) or not (non-target) to that presented 2 trials back (2-back). Negative expression was better and faster recognised, illustrated by higher target discriminability and target detection. Positive and negative expressions also induced a more liberal detection bias compared with neutral. Taking the preceding item into account, additional accuracy impairment (negative preceding negative target) and enhancement effects (negative or positive preceding neutral target) appeared. This illustrates a differential modulation of WM based on the affective tone of the target (mirroring LTM enhancement- and recognition bias effects), and of the preceding item (enhanced and impaired target detection). PMID:26238683

  4. Attentional priority determines working memory precision.

    PubMed

    Klyszejko, Zuzanna; Rahmati, Masih; Curtis, Clayton E

    2014-12-01

    Visual working memory is a system used to hold information actively in mind for a limited time. The number of items and the precision with which we can store information has limits that define its capacity. How much control do we have over the precision with which we store information when faced with these severe capacity limitations? Here, we tested the hypothesis that rank-ordered attentional priority determines the precision of multiple working memory representations. We conducted two psychophysical experiments that manipulated the priority of multiple items in a two-alternative forced choice task (2AFC) with distance discrimination. In Experiment 1, we varied the probabilities with which memorized items were likely to be tested. To generalize the effects of priority beyond simple cueing, in Experiment 2, we manipulated priority by varying monetary incentives contingent upon successful memory for items tested. Moreover, we illustrate our hypothesis using a simple model that distributed attentional resources across items with rank-ordered priorities. Indeed, we found evidence in both experiments that priority affects the precision of working memory in a monotonic fashion. Our results demonstrate that representations of priority may provide a mechanism by which resources can be allocated to increase the precision with which we encode and briefly store information.

  5. Attentional priority determines working memory precision.

    PubMed

    Klyszejko, Zuzanna; Rahmati, Masih; Curtis, Clayton E

    2014-12-01

    Visual working memory is a system used to hold information actively in mind for a limited time. The number of items and the precision with which we can store information has limits that define its capacity. How much control do we have over the precision with which we store information when faced with these severe capacity limitations? Here, we tested the hypothesis that rank-ordered attentional priority determines the precision of multiple working memory representations. We conducted two psychophysical experiments that manipulated the priority of multiple items in a two-alternative forced choice task (2AFC) with distance discrimination. In Experiment 1, we varied the probabilities with which memorized items were likely to be tested. To generalize the effects of priority beyond simple cueing, in Experiment 2, we manipulated priority by varying monetary incentives contingent upon successful memory for items tested. Moreover, we illustrate our hypothesis using a simple model that distributed attentional resources across items with rank-ordered priorities. Indeed, we found evidence in both experiments that priority affects the precision of working memory in a monotonic fashion. Our results demonstrate that representations of priority may provide a mechanism by which resources can be allocated to increase the precision with which we encode and briefly store information. PMID:25240420

  6. Phonetic recalibration does not depend on working memory

    PubMed Central

    Baart, Martijn

    2010-01-01

    Listeners use lipread information to adjust the phonetic boundary between two speech categories (phonetic recalibration, Bertelson et al. 2003). Here, we examined phonetic recalibration while listeners were engaged in a visuospatial or verbal memory working memory task under different memory load conditions. Phonetic recalibration was—like selective speech adaptation—not affected by a concurrent verbal or visuospatial memory task. This result indicates that phonetic recalibration is a low-level process not critically depending on processes used in verbal- or visuospatial working memory. PMID:20437168

  7. What works in auditory working memory? A neural oscillations perspective.

    PubMed

    Wilsch, Anna; Obleser, Jonas

    2016-06-01

    Working memory is a limited resource: brains can only maintain small amounts of sensory input (memory load) over a brief period of time (memory decay). The dynamics of slow neural oscillations as recorded using magneto- and electroencephalography (M/EEG) provide a window into the neural mechanics of these limitations. Especially oscillations in the alpha range (8-13Hz) are a sensitive marker for memory load. Moreover, according to current models, the resultant working memory load is determined by the relative noise in the neural representation of maintained information. The auditory domain allows memory researchers to apply and test the concept of noise quite literally: Employing degraded stimulus acoustics increases memory load and, at the same time, allows assessing the cognitive resources required to process speech in noise in an ecologically valid and clinically relevant way. The present review first summarizes recent findings on neural oscillations, especially alpha power, and how they reflect memory load and memory decay in auditory working memory. The focus is specifically on memory load resulting from acoustic degradation. These findings are then contrasted with contextual factors that benefit neural as well as behavioral markers of memory performance, by reducing representational noise. We end on discussing the functional role of alpha power in auditory working memory and suggest extensions of the current methodological toolkit. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. PMID:26556773

  8. Neural bases of orthographic long-term memory and working memory in dysgraphia.

    PubMed

    Rapp, Brenda; Purcell, Jeremy; Hillis, Argye E; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Spelling a word involves the retrieval of information about the word's letters and their order from long-term memory as well as the maintenance and processing of this information by working memory in preparation for serial production by the motor system. While it is known that brain lesions may selectively affect orthographic long-term memory and working memory processes, relatively little is known about the neurotopographic distribution of the substrates that support these cognitive processes, or the lesions that give rise to the distinct forms of dysgraphia that affect these cognitive processes. To examine these issues, this study uses a voxel-based mapping approach to analyse the lesion distribution of 27 individuals with dysgraphia subsequent to stroke, who were identified on the basis of their behavioural profiles alone, as suffering from deficits only affecting either orthographic long-term or working memory, as well as six other individuals with deficits affecting both sets of processes. The findings provide, for the first time, clear evidence of substrates that selectively support orthographic long-term and working memory processes, with orthographic long-term memory deficits centred in either the left posterior inferior frontal region or left ventral temporal cortex, and orthographic working memory deficits primarily arising from lesions of the left parietal cortex centred on the intraparietal sulcus. These findings also contribute to our understanding of the relationship between the neural instantiation of written language processes and spoken language, working memory and other cognitive skills.

  9. Neural bases of orthographic long-term memory and working memory in dysgraphia.

    PubMed

    Rapp, Brenda; Purcell, Jeremy; Hillis, Argye E; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Spelling a word involves the retrieval of information about the word's letters and their order from long-term memory as well as the maintenance and processing of this information by working memory in preparation for serial production by the motor system. While it is known that brain lesions may selectively affect orthographic long-term memory and working memory processes, relatively little is known about the neurotopographic distribution of the substrates that support these cognitive processes, or the lesions that give rise to the distinct forms of dysgraphia that affect these cognitive processes. To examine these issues, this study uses a voxel-based mapping approach to analyse the lesion distribution of 27 individuals with dysgraphia subsequent to stroke, who were identified on the basis of their behavioural profiles alone, as suffering from deficits only affecting either orthographic long-term or working memory, as well as six other individuals with deficits affecting both sets of processes. The findings provide, for the first time, clear evidence of substrates that selectively support orthographic long-term and working memory processes, with orthographic long-term memory deficits centred in either the left posterior inferior frontal region or left ventral temporal cortex, and orthographic working memory deficits primarily arising from lesions of the left parietal cortex centred on the intraparietal sulcus. These findings also contribute to our understanding of the relationship between the neural instantiation of written language processes and spoken language, working memory and other cognitive skills. PMID:26685156

  10. Working Memory Capacity, Confidence and Scientific Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Ahmadi, Fatheya; Oraif, Fatima

    2009-01-01

    Working memory capacity is now well established as a rate determining factor in much learning and assessment, especially in the sciences. Most of the research has focussed on performance in tests and examinations in subject areas. This paper outlines some exploratory work in which other outcomes are related to working memory capacity. Confidence…

  11. Working memory capacity and controlled serial memory search.

    PubMed

    Mızrak, Eda; Öztekin, Ilke

    2016-08-01

    The speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) procedure was used to investigate the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and the dynamics of temporal order memory retrieval. High- and low-span participants (HSs, LSs) studied sequentially presented five-item lists, followed by two probes from the study list. Participants indicated the more recent probe. Overall, accuracy was higher for HSs compared to LSs. Crucially, in contrast to previous investigations that observed no impact of WMC on speed of access to item information in memory (e.g., Öztekin & McElree, 2010), recovery of temporal order memory was slower for LSs. While accessing an item's representation in memory can be direct, recovery of relational information such as temporal order information requires a more controlled serial memory search. Collectively, these data indicate that WMC effects are particularly prominent during high demands of cognitive control, such as serial search operations necessary to access temporal order information from memory. PMID:27135712

  12. Distinctions between orthographic long-term memory and working memory

    PubMed Central

    Buchwald, Adam; Rapp, Brenda

    2011-01-01

    Research in the cognitive and neural sciences has long posited a distinction between the long-term memory (LTM) storage of information and the short-term buffering of information that is being actively manipulated in working memory (WM). This basic type of distinction has been posited in a variety of domains, including written language production—spelling. In the domain of spelling, the primary source of empirical evidence regarding this distinction has been cognitive neuropsychological studies reporting deficits selectively affecting what the cognitive neuropsychological literature has referred to as the orthographic lexicon (LTM) or the graphemic buffer (WM). Recent papers have reexamined several of the hallmark characteristics of impairment affecting the graphemic buffer, with implications for our understanding of the nature of the orthographic LTM and WM systems. In this paper, we present a detailed case series study of 4 individuals with acquired spelling deficits and report evidence from both error types and factors influencing error rates that support the traditional distinction between these cognitive systems involved in spelling. In addition, we report evidence indicating possible interaction between these systems, which is consistent with a variety of recent findings in research on spelling. PMID:20425660

  13. Working memory effects in speeded RSVP tasks.

    PubMed

    Gil-Gómez de Liaño, Beatriz; Potter, Mary C; Rodríguez, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    The present paper examines the effects of memory contents and memory load in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) speeded tasks, trying to explain previous inconsistent results. We used a one target (Experiment 1) and a two-target (Experiment 2) RSVP task with a concurrent memory load of one or four items, in a dual-task paradigm. A relation between material in working memory and the target in the RSVP impaired the identification of the target. In Experiments 3 and 4, the single task was to determine whether any information in memory matched the target in the RSVP, while varying the memory load. A match was detected faster than a non-match, although only when there was some distance between targets in the RSVP (Experiment 4). The results suggest that memory contents automatically capture attention, slowing processing when the memory contents are irrelevant to the task, and speeding processing when they are relevant.

  14. Working memory effects in speeded RSVP tasks.

    PubMed

    Gil-Gómez de Liaño, Beatriz; Potter, Mary C; Rodríguez, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    The present paper examines the effects of memory contents and memory load in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) speeded tasks, trying to explain previous inconsistent results. We used a one target (Experiment 1) and a two-target (Experiment 2) RSVP task with a concurrent memory load of one or four items, in a dual-task paradigm. A relation between material in working memory and the target in the RSVP impaired the identification of the target. In Experiments 3 and 4, the single task was to determine whether any information in memory matched the target in the RSVP, while varying the memory load. A match was detected faster than a non-match, although only when there was some distance between targets in the RSVP (Experiment 4). The results suggest that memory contents automatically capture attention, slowing processing when the memory contents are irrelevant to the task, and speeding processing when they are relevant. PMID:23397260

  15. A promoter variant of SHANK1 affects auditory working memory in schizophrenia patients and in subjects clinically at risk for psychosis.

    PubMed

    Lennertz, Leonhard; Wagner, Michael; Wölwer, Wolfgang; Schuhmacher, Anna; Frommann, Ingo; Berning, Julia; Schulze-Rauschenbach, Svenja; Landsberg, Martin W; Steinbrecher, Anja; Alexander, Michael; Franke, Petra E; Pukrop, Ralf; Ruhrmann, Stephan; Bechdolf, Andreas; Gaebel, Wolfgang; Klosterkötter, Joachim; Häfner, Heinz; Maier, Wolfgang; Mössner, Rainald

    2012-03-01

    Mutations in postsynaptic scaffolding genes contribute to autism, thus suggesting a role in pathological processes in neurodevelopment. Recently, two de novo mutations in SHANK3 were described in schizophrenia patients. In most cases, abnormal SHANK3 genotype was also accompanied by cognitive disruptions. The present study queries whether common SHANK variants may also contribute to neuropsychological dysfunctions in schizophrenia. We genotyped five common coding or promoter variants located in SHANK1, SHANK2 and SHANK3. A comprehensive test battery was used to assess neuropsychological functions in 199 schizophrenia patients and 206 healthy control subjects. In addition, an independent sample of 77 subjects at risk for psychosis was analyzed for replication of significant findings. We found the T allele of the SHANK1 promoter variant rs3810280 to lead to significantly impaired auditory working memory as assessed with digit span (12.5 ± 3.6 vs. 14.8 ± 4.1, P < .001) in schizophrenia cases, applying strict Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. This finding was replicated for forward digit span in the at-risk sample (7.1 ± 2.0 vs. 8.3 ± 2.0, P = .044). Previously, altered memory functions and reduced dendritic spines and postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses were reported in SHANK1 knock-out mice. Moreover, the atypical neuroleptic clozapine was found to increase SHANK1 density in rats. Our findings suggest a role of SHANK1 in working memory deficits in schizophrenia, which may arise from neurodevelopmental changes to prefrontal cortical areas.

  16. Working Memory Costs of Task Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liefooghe, Baptist; Barrouillet, Pierre; Vandierendonck, Andre; Camos, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    Although many accounts of task switching emphasize the importance of working memory as a substantial source of the switch cost, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating that task switching actually places additional demands on working memory. The present study addressed this issue by implementing task switching in continuous complex span tasks…

  17. Discrete Resource Allocation in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barton, Brian; Ester, Edward F.; Awh, Edward

    2009-01-01

    Are resources in visual working memory allocated in a continuous or a discrete fashion? On one hand, flexible resource models suggest that capacity is determined by a central resource pool that can be flexibly divided such that items of greater complexity receive a larger share of resources. On the other hand, if capacity in working memory is…

  18. Teaching Political Science through Memory Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jansson, Maria; Wendt, Maria; Ase, Cecilia

    2009-01-01

    In this article, we present the results of a research project where we have tried to elaborate more socially inclusive ways of teaching and learning political science by making use of a specific feminist method of analyzing social relations--memory work. As a method, memory work involves writing and interpreting stories of personal experience,…

  19. Fluid intelligence, working memory and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Colom, Roberto; Rubio, Víctor J; Shih, Pei Chun; Santacreu, José

    2006-11-01

    The causes underlying the correlation between working memory and fluid intelligence remain unknown. There are some researchers who argue that the answer can be found on the presumed executive component of working memory. However, the available empirical evidence is far from conclusive. The present study tested a sample of 229 participants. Intelligence, working memory, and executive functioning were measured by one analytic reasoning test (TRASI), a dual task combining a primary task of deductive reasoning with a secondary task of counting, and the Tower of Hanoi task, respectively. All the 3 measures were computer administered. The results indicate that the shared variance between executive functioning and working memory do not account for the relationship between intelligence and working memory. Some theoretical implications are discussed. PMID:17296123

  20. A Brain System for Auditory Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Sabine; Gander, Phillip E.; Barascud, Nicolas; Halpern, Andrea R.; Griffiths, Timothy D.

    2016-01-01

    The brain basis for auditory working memory, the process of actively maintaining sounds in memory over short periods of time, is controversial. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in human participants, we demonstrate that the maintenance of single tones in memory is associated with activation in auditory cortex. In addition, sustained activation was observed in hippocampus and inferior frontal gyrus. Multivoxel pattern analysis showed that patterns of activity in auditory cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus distinguished the tone that was maintained in memory. Functional connectivity during maintenance was demonstrated between auditory cortex and both the hippocampus and inferior frontal cortex. The data support a system for auditory working memory based on the maintenance of sound-specific representations in auditory cortex by projections from higher-order areas, including the hippocampus and frontal cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In this work, we demonstrate a system for maintaining sound in working memory based on activity in auditory cortex, hippocampus, and frontal cortex, and functional connectivity among them. Specifically, our work makes three advances from the previous work. First, we robustly demonstrate hippocampal involvement in all phases of auditory working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval): the role of hippocampus in working memory is controversial. Second, using a pattern classification technique, we show that activity in the auditory cortex and inferior frontal gyrus is specific to the maintained tones in working memory. Third, we show long-range connectivity of auditory cortex to hippocampus and frontal cortex, which may be responsible for keeping such representations active during working memory maintenance. PMID:27098693

  1. Developmental aspects of working and associative memory.

    PubMed

    Thaler, Nicholas S; Goldstein, Gerald; Pettegrew, Jay W; Luther, James F; Reynolds, Cecil R; Allen, Daniel N

    2013-06-01

    Developmental differences between working and long-term associative memory were evaluated through a cross-sectional age difference study based on data from a memory battery's standardization sample. The scores of 856 children and adolescents ranging from 5 to 17 years of age were compared on memory subtests that assess verbal working and long-term memory. Data were examined using curve fitting and ANOVA procedures that evaluated age group and years of age differences. The major finding was that the developmental trajectories across age differed substantially between the two memory domains. The working memory trajectory was linear until age 11, whereas the long-term memory trajectory was curvilinear with an inflection point at age 8. Both trajectories plateaued after age 11. ANOVAs produced significant interactions between tests of working and associative memory with age, supporting the view that the age trajectories had differing courses. The results are discussed in terms of neurobiological implications for the two memory systems studied. PMID:23341435

  2. What's Working in Working Memory Training? An Educational Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redick, Thomas S.; Shipstead, Zach; Wiemers, Elizabeth A.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Working memory training programs have generated great interest, with claims that the training interventions can have profound beneficial effects on children's academic and intellectual attainment. We describe the criteria by which to evaluate evidence for or against the benefit of working memory training. Despite the promising results of initial…

  3. How Does Working Memory Work in the Classroom?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2006-01-01

    Working memory plays a key role in supporting children's learning over the school years, and beyond this into adulthood. It is proposed here that working memory is crucially required to store information while other material is being mentally manipulated during the classroom learning activities that form the foundations for the acquisition of…

  4. Working memory training improves visual short-term memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Schwarb, Hillary; Nail, Jayde; Schumacher, Eric H

    2016-01-01

    Since antiquity, philosophers, theologians, and scientists have been interested in human memory. However, researchers today are still working to understand the capabilities, boundaries, and architecture. While the storage capabilities of long-term memory are seemingly unlimited (Bahrick, J Exp Psychol 113:1-2, 1984), working memory, or the ability to maintain and manipulate information held in memory, seems to have stringent capacity limits (e.g., Cowan, Behav Brain Sci 24:87-185, 2001). Individual differences, however, do exist and these differences can often predict performance on a wide variety of tasks (cf. Engle What is working-memory capacity? 297-314, 2001). Recently, researchers have promoted the enticing possibility that simple behavioral training can expand the limits of working memory which indeed may also lead to improvements on other cognitive processes as well (cf. Morrison and Chein, Psychol Bull Rev 18:46-60 2011). However, initial investigations across a wide variety of cognitive functions have produced mixed results regarding the transferability of training-related improvements. Across two experiments, the present research focuses on the benefit of working memory training on visual short-term memory capacity-a cognitive process that has received little attention in the training literature. Data reveal training-related improvement of global measures of visual short-term memory as well as of measures of the independent sub-processes that contribute to capacity (Awh et al., Psychol Sci 18(7):622-628, 2007). These results suggest that the ability to inhibit irrelevant information within and between trials is enhanced via n-back training allowing for selective improvement on untrained tasks. Additionally, we highlight a potential limitation of the standard adaptive training procedure and propose a modified design to ensure variability in the training environment.

  5. The nature of working memory for Braille.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Henri; Voss, Patrice; Lepore, Franco; Scherzer, Peter

    2010-05-26

    Blind individuals have been shown on multiple occasions to compensate for their loss of sight by developing exceptional abilities in their remaining senses. While most research has been focused on perceptual abilities per se in the auditory and tactile modalities, recent work has also investigated higher-order processes involving memory and language functions. Here we examined tactile working memory for Braille in two groups of visually challenged individuals (completely blind subjects, CBS; blind with residual vision, BRV). In a first experimental procedure both groups were given a Braille tactile memory span task with and without articulatory suppression, while the BRV and a sighted group performed a visual version of the task. It was shown that the Braille tactile working memory (BrWM) of CBS individuals under articulatory suppression is as efficient as that of sighted individuals' visual working memory in the same condition. Moreover, the results suggest that BrWM may be more robust in the CBS than in the BRV subjects, thus pointing to the potential role of visual experience in shaping tactile working memory. A second experiment designed to assess the nature (spatial vs. verbal) of this working memory was then carried out with two new CBS and BRV groups having to perform the Braille task concurrently with a mental arithmetic task or a mental displacement of blocks task. We show that the disruption of memory was greatest when concurrently carrying out the mental displacement of blocks, indicating that the Braille tactile subsystem of working memory is likely spatial in nature in CBS. The results also point to the multimodal nature of working memory and show how experience can shape the development of its subcomponents.

  6. Some Forgotten Work on Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stigler, Stephen M.

    1978-01-01

    Nine years before the publication of Ebbinghaus's classic 1885 book on memory, an American physicist, Francis E. Nipher, published brief accounts of his own investigations on this topic. These accounts are reprinted, with commentary and a brief note about Nipher. (Editor)

  7. Differences between Presentation Methods in Working Memory Procedures: A Matter of Working Memory Consolidation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Understanding forgetting from working memory, the memory used in ongoing cognitive processing, is critical to understanding human cognition. In the past decade, a number of conflicting findings have been reported regarding the role of time in forgetting from working memory. This has led to a debate concerning whether longer retention intervals…

  8. Working Memory and Binding in Sentence Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, A. D.; Hitch, G. J.; Allen, R. J.

    2009-01-01

    A series of experiments explored whether chunking in short-term memory for verbal materials depends on attentionally limited executive processes. Secondary tasks were used to disrupt components of working memory and chunking was indexed by the sentence superiority effect, whereby immediate recall is better for sentences than word lists. To…

  9. Which Working Memory Functions Predict Intelligence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klaus; Sub, Heinz-Martin; Wilhelm, Oliver; Wittmann, Werner W.

    2008-01-01

    Investigates the relationship between three factors of working memory (storage and processing, relational integration, and supervision) and four factors of intelligence (reasoning, speed, memory, and creativity) using structural equation models. Relational integration predicted reasoning ability at least as well as the storage-and-processing…

  10. Working Memory, Fluid Intelligence, and Science Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yuan, Kun; Steedle, Jeffrey; Shavelson, Richard; Alonzo, Alicia; Oppezzo, Marily

    2006-01-01

    A review of the history of working memory (WM) studies finds that the concept of WM evolved from short-term memory to a multi-component system. Comparison between contemporary WM models reveals: (1) consensus that the content of WM includes not only task-relevant information, but also task-irrelevant information; (2) consensus that WM consists of…

  11. Working Memory in the Service of Executive Control Functions.

    PubMed

    Mansouri, Farshad A; Rosa, Marcello G P; Atapour, Nafiseh

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a type of short-term memory which has a crucial cognitive function that supports ongoing and upcoming behaviors, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, color or texture of an object, and its location and motion relative to the body, as well as phonological information. The neural correlate of working memory has been found in different brain areas that are involved in organizing perceptual or motor functions. In particular, neuronal activity in prefrontal areas encodes task-related information corresponding to working memory across delay periods, and lesions in the prefrontal cortex severely affect the ability to retain this type of memory. Recent studies have further expanded the scope and possible role of working memory by showing that information of a more abstract nature (including a behavior-guiding rule, or the occurrence of a conflict in information processing) can also be maintained in short-term memory, and used for adjusting the allocation of executive control in dynamic environments. It has also been shown that neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex encodes and maintains information about such abstract entities. These findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in the organization of goal-directed behavior by supporting many different mnemonic processes, which maintain a wide range of information required for the executive control of ongoing and upcoming behaviors. PMID:26696841

  12. Working Memory in the Service of Executive Control Functions

    PubMed Central

    Mansouri, Farshad A.; Rosa, Marcello G. P.; Atapour, Nafiseh

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a type of short-term memory which has a crucial cognitive function that supports ongoing and upcoming behaviors, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, color or texture of an object, and its location and motion relative to the body, as well as phonological information. The neural correlate of working memory has been found in different brain areas that are involved in organizing perceptual or motor functions. In particular, neuronal activity in prefrontal areas encodes task-related information corresponding to working memory across delay periods, and lesions in the prefrontal cortex severely affect the ability to retain this type of memory. Recent studies have further expanded the scope and possible role of working memory by showing that information of a more abstract nature (including a behavior-guiding rule, or the occurrence of a conflict in information processing) can also be maintained in short-term memory, and used for adjusting the allocation of executive control in dynamic environments. It has also been shown that neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex encodes and maintains information about such abstract entities. These findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in the organization of goal-directed behavior by supporting many different mnemonic processes, which maintain a wide range of information required for the executive control of ongoing and upcoming behaviors. PMID:26696841

  13. Competition between items in working memory leads to forgetting.

    PubMed

    Lewis-Peacock, Jarrod A; Norman, Kenneth A

    2014-01-01

    Switching attention from one thought to the next propels our mental lives forward. However, it is unclear how this thought-juggling affects our ability to remember these thoughts. Here we show that competition between the neural representations of pictures in working memory can impair subsequent recognition of those pictures. We use pattern classifiers to decode functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a retro-cueing task where participants juggle two pictures in working memory. Trial-by-trial fluctuations in neural dynamics are predictive of performance on a surprise recognition memory test: trials that elicit similar levels of classifier evidence for both pictures (indicating close competition) are associated with worse memory performance than trials where participants switch decisively from thinking about one picture to the other. This result is consistent with the non-monotonic plasticity hypothesis, which predicts that close competition can trigger weakening of memories that lose the competition, leading to subsequent forgetting. PMID:25519874

  14. Competition between items in working memory leads to forgetting

    PubMed Central

    Lewis-Peacock, Jarrod A.; Norman, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    Switching attention from one thought to the next propels our mental lives forward. However, it is unclear how this thought-juggling affects our ability to remember these thoughts. Here we show that competition between the neural representations of pictures in working memory can impair subsequent recognition of those pictures. We use pattern classifiers to decode functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a retro-cueing task where participants juggle two pictures in working memory. Trial-by-trial fluctuations in neural dynamics are predictive of performance on a surprise recognition memory test: trials that elicit similar levels of classifier evidence for both pictures (indicating close competition) are associated with worse memory performance than trials where participants switch decisively from thinking about one picture to the other. This result is consistent with the non-monotonic plasticity hypothesis, which predicts that close competition can trigger weakening of memories that lose the competition, leading to subsequent forgetting. PMID:25519874

  15. Working Memory at Work: How the Updating Process Alters the Nature of Working Memory Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yanmin; Verhaeghen, Paul; Cerella, John

    2011-01-01

    In three N-Back experiments, we investigated components of the process of working memory (WM) updating, more specifically access to items stored outside the focus of attention and transfer from the focus to the region of WM outside the focus. We used stimulus complexity as a marker. We found that when WM transfer occurred under full attention, it was slow and highly sensitive to stimulus complexity, much more so than WM access. When transfer occurred in conjunction with access, however, it was fast and no longer sensitive to stimulus complexity. Thus the updating context altered the nature of WM processing: The dual-task situation (transfer in conjunction with access) drove memory transfer into a more efficient mode, indifferent to stimulus complexity. In contrast, access times consistently increased with complexity, unaffected by the processing context. This study reinforces recent reports that retrieval is a (perhaps the) key component of working memory functioning. PMID:22105718

  16. Gamma and Beta Bursts Underlie Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Lundqvist, Mikael; Rose, Jonas; Herman, Pawel; Brincat, Scott L; Buschman, Timothy J; Miller, Earl K

    2016-04-01

    Working memory is thought to result from sustained neuron spiking. However, computational models suggest complex dynamics with discrete oscillatory bursts. We analyzed local field potential (LFP) and spiking from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of monkeys performing a working memory task. There were brief bursts of narrow-band gamma oscillations (45-100 Hz), varied in time and frequency, accompanying encoding and re-activation of sensory information. They appeared at a minority of recording sites associated with spiking reflecting the to-be-remembered items. Beta oscillations (20-35 Hz) also occurred in brief, variable bursts but reflected a default state interrupted by encoding and decoding. Only activity of neurons reflecting encoding/decoding correlated with changes in gamma burst rate. Thus, gamma bursts could gate access to, and prevent sensory interference with, working memory. This supports the hypothesis that working memory is manifested by discrete oscillatory dynamics and spiking, not sustained activity. PMID:26996084

  17. Working memory of emotional stimuli: Electrophysiological characterization.

    PubMed

    Kessel, Dominique; García-Rubio, María J; González, E Kirstin; Tapia, Manuel; López-Martín, Sara; Román, Francisco J; Capilla, Almudena; Martínez, Kenia; Colom, Roberto; Carretié, Luis

    2016-09-01

    Memorizing emotional stimuli in a preferential way seems to be one of the adaptive strategies brought on by evolution for supporting survival. However, there is a lack of electrophysiological evidence on this bias in working memory. The present study analyzed the influence of emotion on the updating component of working memory. Behavioral and electrophysiological indices were measured from a 3-back task using negative, neutral, and positive faces. Electrophysiological data evidenced an emotional influence on the working memory sensitive P3 component, which presented larger amplitudes for negative matching faces compared to neutral ones. This effect originated in the superior parietal cortex, previously reported to be involved in N-back tasks. Additionally, P3 results showed a correlation with reaction times, where higher amplitudes were associated with faster responses for negative matching faces. These findings indicate that electrophysiological measures seem to be very suitable indices of the emotional influence on working memory.

  18. Do Computerised Training Programmes Designed to Improve Working Memory Work?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Apter, Brian J. B.

    2012-01-01

    A critical review of working memory training research during the last 10 years is provided. Particular attention is given to research that has attempted to investigate the efficacy of commercially marketed computerised training programmes such as "Cogmed" and "Jungle Memory". Claimed benefits are questioned on the basis that research methodologies…

  19. Spatial context learning survives interference from working memory load

    PubMed Central

    Vickery, Timothy J.; Sussman, Rachel S.; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2010-01-01

    The human visual system is constantly confronted with an overwhelming amount of information, only a subset of which can be processed in complete detail. Attention and implicit learning are two important mechanisms that optimize vision. This study addresses the relationship between these two mechanisms. Specifically we ask: Is implicit learning of spatial context affected by the amount of working memory load devoted to an irrelevant task? We tested observers in visual search tasks where search displays occasionally repeated. Observers became faster searching repeated displays than unrepeated ones, showing contextual cueing. We found that the size of contextual cueing was unaffected by whether observers learned repeated displays under unitary attention or when their attention was divided using working memory manipulations. These results held when working memory was loaded by colors, dot patterns, individual dot locations, or multiple potential targets. We conclude that spatial context learning is robust to interference from manipulations that limit the availability of attention and working memory. PMID:20853996

  20. Selection History Modulates Working Memory Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Bo-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that past selection history affects the allocation of attention on target selection. However, it is unclear whether context-driven selection history can modulate the efficacy of attention allocation on working memory (WM) representations. This study tests the influences of selection history on WM capacity. A display of one item (low load) or three/four items (high load) was shown for the participants to hold in WM in a delayed response task. Participants then judged whether a probe item was in the memory display or not. Selection history was defined as the number of items attended across trials in the task context within a block, manipulated by the stimulus set-size in the contexts with fewer possible stimuli (4-item or 5-item context) or more possible stimuli (8-item or 9-item context) from which the memorized content was selected. The capacity measure (i.e., the K measure) was estimated to reflect the number of items that can be held in WM. Across four behavioral experiments, the results revealed that the capacity was significantly reduced in the context with more possible stimuli relative to the context with fewer possible stimuli. Moreover, the reduction in capacity was significant for high WM load and not observed when the focus was on only a single item. Together, these findings indicate that context-driven selection history and focused attention influence WM capacity. PMID:27774082

  1. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Radvansky, Gabriel A; Gibson, Bradley S; McNerney, M Windy

    2014-01-01

    Research on language comprehension suggests a strong relationship between working memory span measures and language comprehension. However, there is also evidence that this relationship weakens at higher levels of comprehension, such as the situation model level. The current study explored this relationship by comparing 10 grapheme-color synesthetes who have additional color experiences when they read words that begin with different letters and 48 normal controls on a number of tests of complex working memory capacity and processing at the situation model level. On all tests of working memory capacity, the synesthetes outperformed the controls. Importantly, there was no carryover benefit for the synesthetes for processing at the situation model level. This reinforces the idea that although some aspects of language comprehension are related to working memory span scores, this applies less directly to situation model levels. This suggests that theories of working memory must take into account this limitation, and the working memory processes that are involved in situation model construction and processing must be derived.

  2. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia

    SciTech Connect

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; Gibson, Bradley S.; McNerney, M. Windy

    2013-03-04

    Research on language comprehension suggests a strong relationship between working memory span measures and language comprehension. However, there is also evidence that this relationship weakens at higher levels of comprehension, such as the situation model level. The current study explored this relationship by comparing 10 grapheme–color synesthetes who have additional color experiences when they read words that begin with different letters and 48 normal controls on a number of tests of complex working memory capacity and processing at the situation model level. On all tests of working memory capacity, the synesthetes outperformed the controls. Importantly, there was no carryover benefit for the synesthetes for processing at the situation model level. This reinforces the idea that although some aspects of language comprehension are related to working memory span scores, this applies less directly to situation model levels. As a result, this suggests that theories of working memory must take into account this limitation, and the working memory processes that are involved in situation model construction and processing must be derived.

  3. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia

    DOE PAGES

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; Gibson, Bradley S.; McNerney, M. Windy

    2013-03-04

    Research on language comprehension suggests a strong relationship between working memory span measures and language comprehension. However, there is also evidence that this relationship weakens at higher levels of comprehension, such as the situation model level. The current study explored this relationship by comparing 10 grapheme–color synesthetes who have additional color experiences when they read words that begin with different letters and 48 normal controls on a number of tests of complex working memory capacity and processing at the situation model level. On all tests of working memory capacity, the synesthetes outperformed the controls. Importantly, there was no carryover benefitmore » for the synesthetes for processing at the situation model level. This reinforces the idea that although some aspects of language comprehension are related to working memory span scores, this applies less directly to situation model levels. As a result, this suggests that theories of working memory must take into account this limitation, and the working memory processes that are involved in situation model construction and processing must be derived.« less

  4. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Radvansky, Gabriel A; Gibson, Bradley S; McNerney, M Windy

    2014-01-01

    Research on language comprehension suggests a strong relationship between working memory span measures and language comprehension. However, there is also evidence that this relationship weakens at higher levels of comprehension, such as the situation model level. The current study explored this relationship by comparing 10 grapheme-color synesthetes who have additional color experiences when they read words that begin with different letters and 48 normal controls on a number of tests of complex working memory capacity and processing at the situation model level. On all tests of working memory capacity, the synesthetes outperformed the controls. Importantly, there was no carryover benefit for the synesthetes for processing at the situation model level. This reinforces the idea that although some aspects of language comprehension are related to working memory span scores, this applies less directly to situation model levels. This suggests that theories of working memory must take into account this limitation, and the working memory processes that are involved in situation model construction and processing must be derived. PMID:25588274

  5. Attending to items in working memory: evidence that refreshing and memory search are closely related.

    PubMed

    Vergauwe, Evie; Cowan, Nelson

    2015-08-01

    Refreshing refers to the use of attention to reactivate items in working memory (WM). In the present study, we aimed to test the hypothesis that refreshing is closely related to memory search. The assumption is that refreshing and memory search both rely on a basic covert memory process that quickly retrieves the memory items into the focus of attention, thereby reactivating the information (Cowan, 1992; Vergauwe & Cowan, 2014). Consistent with the idea that people use their attention to prevent loss from WM, previous research has shown that increasing the proportion of time during which attention is occupied by concurrent processing, thereby preventing refreshing, results in poorer recall performance in complex span tasks (Barrouillet, Portrat, & Camos, Psychological Review, 118, 175-192, 2011). Here, we tested whether recall performance is differentially affected by prolonged attentional capture caused by memory search. If memory search and refreshing both rely on retrieval from WM, then prolonged attentional capture caused by memory search should not lead to forgetting, because memory items are assumed to be reactivated during memory search, in the same way that they would be if that period of time were used for refreshing. Consistent with this idea, prolonged attentional capture had a disruptive effect when it was caused by the need to retrieve knowledge from long-term memory, but not when it was caused by the need to search through the content of WM. The present results support the idea that refreshing operates through a process of retrieval of information into the focus of attention.

  6. Attending to items in working memory: evidence that refreshing and memory search are closely related.

    PubMed

    Vergauwe, Evie; Cowan, Nelson

    2015-08-01

    Refreshing refers to the use of attention to reactivate items in working memory (WM). In the present study, we aimed to test the hypothesis that refreshing is closely related to memory search. The assumption is that refreshing and memory search both rely on a basic covert memory process that quickly retrieves the memory items into the focus of attention, thereby reactivating the information (Cowan, 1992; Vergauwe & Cowan, 2014). Consistent with the idea that people use their attention to prevent loss from WM, previous research has shown that increasing the proportion of time during which attention is occupied by concurrent processing, thereby preventing refreshing, results in poorer recall performance in complex span tasks (Barrouillet, Portrat, & Camos, Psychological Review, 118, 175-192, 2011). Here, we tested whether recall performance is differentially affected by prolonged attentional capture caused by memory search. If memory search and refreshing both rely on retrieval from WM, then prolonged attentional capture caused by memory search should not lead to forgetting, because memory items are assumed to be reactivated during memory search, in the same way that they would be if that period of time were used for refreshing. Consistent with this idea, prolonged attentional capture had a disruptive effect when it was caused by the need to retrieve knowledge from long-term memory, but not when it was caused by the need to search through the content of WM. The present results support the idea that refreshing operates through a process of retrieval of information into the focus of attention. PMID:25361821

  7. Working memory predicts the rejection of false memories.

    PubMed

    Leding, Juliana K

    2012-01-01

    The relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and false memories in the memory conjunction paradigm was explored. Previous research using other paradigms has shown that individuals high in WMC are not as likely to experience false memories as low-WMC individuals, the explanation being that high-WMC individuals are better able to engage in source monitoring. In the memory conjunction paradigm participants are presented at study with parent words (e.g., eyeglasses, whiplash). At test, in addition to being presented with targets and foils, participants are presented with lures that are composed of previously studied features (e.g., eyelash). It was found that high-WMC individuals had lower levels of false recognition than low-WMC individuals. Furthermore, recall-to-reject responses were analysed (e.g., "I know I didn't see eyelash because I remember seeing eyeglasses") and it was found that high-WMC individuals were more likely to utilise this memory editing strategy, providing direct evidence that one reason that high-WMC individuals are not as prone to false memories is because they are better able to engage in source monitoring.

  8. Temporal dynamics of visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Sobczak-Edmans, M; Ng, T H B; Chan, Y C; Chew, E; Chuang, K H; Chen, S H A

    2016-01-01

    The involvement of the human cerebellum in working memory has been well established in the last decade. However, the cerebro-cerebellar network for visual working memory is not as well defined. Our previous fMRI study showed superior and inferior cerebellar activations during a block design visual working memory task, but specific cerebellar contributions to cognitive processes in encoding, maintenance and retrieval have not yet been established. The current study examined cerebellar contributions to each of the components of visual working memory and presence of cerebellar hemispheric laterality was investigated. 40 young adults performed a Sternberg visual working memory task during fMRI scanning using a parametric paradigm. The contrast between high and low memory load during each phase was examined. We found that the most prominent activation was observed in vermal lobule VIIIb and bilateral lobule VI during encoding. Using a quantitative laterality index, we found that left-lateralized activation of lobule VIIIa was present in the encoding phase. In the maintenance phase, there was bilateral lobule VI and right-lateralized lobule VIIb activity. Changes in activation in right lobule VIIIa were present during the retrieval phase. The current results provide evidence that superior and inferior cerebellum contributes to visual working memory, with a tendency for left-lateralized activations in the inferior cerebellum during encoding and right-lateralized lobule VIIb activations during maintenance. The results of the study are in agreement with Baddeley's multi-component working memory model, but also suggest that stored visual representations are additionally supported by maintenance mechanisms that may employ verbal coding.

  9. Working memory components in written sentence generation.

    PubMed

    Kellogg, Ronald T

    2004-01-01

    College students wrote either simple or complex sentences using 2 prompt nouns while components of working memory were distracted with a concurrent task. Loads on the visual and spatial components of working memory (retain a shape) and verbal component (retain 3 or 6 digits) were compared with a no-load control. Only the 6-digit load reliably reduced sentence length relative to the control, suggesting that unimpeded sentence generation requires verbal working memory. The sentence length effect may arise from a failure to retrieve and maintain lexical representations during grammatical encoding. Memory load had no effect on grammatical and spelling errors, implying that syntactic and orthographic processing were undisturbed. Other possibilities locate the difficulty in planning conceptual content or in phonological encoding, but some evidence speaks against them.

  10. Working Memory Load Attenuates Emotional Enhancement in Recognition Memory

    PubMed Central

    Miendlarzewska, Ewa A.; van Elswijk, Gijs; Cannistraci, Carlo V.; van Ee, Raymond

    2013-01-01

    Emotionally arousing stimuli are perceived and remembered better than neutral stimuli. Under threat, this negativity bias is further increased. We investigated whether working memory (WM) load can attenuate incidental memory for emotional images. Two groups of participants performed the N-back task with two WM load levels. In one group, we induced anxiety using a threat of shock paradigm to increase attentional processing of negative information. During task performance we incidentally and briefly flashed emotional distracter images which prolonged response times in both load conditions. A subsequent unannounced immediate recognition memory test revealed that when load at exposure had been low, recognition was better for negative items in both participant groups. This enhancement, however, was attenuated under high load, leaving performance on neutral items unchanged regardless of the threat of shock manipulation. We conclude that both in threat and in normal states WM load at exposure can attenuate immediate emotional memory enhancement. PMID:23515565

  11. Modulation of working memory updating: Does long-term memory lexical association matter?

    PubMed

    Artuso, Caterina; Palladino, Paola

    2016-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate how working memory updating for verbal material is modulated by enduring properties of long-term memory. Two coexisting perspectives that account for the relation between long-term representation and short-term performance were addressed. First, evidence suggests that performance is more closely linked to lexical properties, that is, co-occurrences within the language. Conversely, other evidence suggests that performance is linked more to long-term representations which do not entail lexical/linguistic representations. Our aim was to investigate how these two kinds of long-term memory associations (i.e., lexical or nonlexical) modulate ongoing working memory activity. Therefore, we manipulated (between participants) the strength of the association in letters based on either frequency of co-occurrences (lexical) or contiguity along the sequence of the alphabet (nonlexical). Results showed a cost in working memory updating for strongly lexically associated stimuli only. Our findings advance knowledge of how lexical long-term memory associations between consonants affect working memory updating and, in turn, contribute to the study of factors which impact the updating process across memory systems.

  12. Modulation of working memory updating: Does long-term memory lexical association matter?

    PubMed

    Artuso, Caterina; Palladino, Paola

    2016-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate how working memory updating for verbal material is modulated by enduring properties of long-term memory. Two coexisting perspectives that account for the relation between long-term representation and short-term performance were addressed. First, evidence suggests that performance is more closely linked to lexical properties, that is, co-occurrences within the language. Conversely, other evidence suggests that performance is linked more to long-term representations which do not entail lexical/linguistic representations. Our aim was to investigate how these two kinds of long-term memory associations (i.e., lexical or nonlexical) modulate ongoing working memory activity. Therefore, we manipulated (between participants) the strength of the association in letters based on either frequency of co-occurrences (lexical) or contiguity along the sequence of the alphabet (nonlexical). Results showed a cost in working memory updating for strongly lexically associated stimuli only. Our findings advance knowledge of how lexical long-term memory associations between consonants affect working memory updating and, in turn, contribute to the study of factors which impact the updating process across memory systems. PMID:26323831

  13. The cognitive neuroscience of working memory.

    PubMed

    D'Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R

    2015-01-01

    For more than 50 years, psychologists and neuroscientists have recognized the importance of a working memory to coordinate processing when multiple goals are active and to guide behavior with information that is not present in the immediate environment. In recent years, psychological theory and cognitive neuroscience data have converged on the idea that information is encoded into working memory by allocating attention to internal representations, whether semantic long-term memory (e.g., letters, digits, words), sensory, or motoric. Thus, information-based multivariate analyses of human functional MRI data typically find evidence for the temporary representation of stimuli in regions that also process this information in nonworking memory contexts. The prefrontal cortex (PFC), on the other hand, exerts control over behavior by biasing the salience of mnemonic representations and adjudicating among competing, context-dependent rules. The "control of the controller" emerges from a complex interplay between PFC and striatal circuits and ascending dopaminergic neuromodulatory signals. PMID:25251486

  14. Somatic markers, working memory, and decision making.

    PubMed

    Hinson, John M; Jameson, Tina L; Whitney, Paul

    2002-12-01

    The somatic marker hypothesis formulated by Damasio (e.g., 1994; Damasio, Tranel, & Damasio, 1991) argues that affective reactions ordinarily guide and simplify decision making. Although originally intended to explain decision-making deficits in people with specific frontal lobe damage, the hypothesis also applies to decision-making problems in populations without brain injury. Subsequently, the gambling task was developed by Bechara (Bechara, Damasio, Damasio, & Anderson, 1994) as a diagnostic test of decision-making deficit in neurological populations. More recently, the gambling task has been used to explore implications of the somatic marker hypothesis, as well as to study suboptimal decision making in a variety of domains. We examined relations among gambling task decision making, working memory (WM) load, and somatic markers in a modified version of the gambling task. Increased WM load produced by secondary tasks led to poorer gambling performance. Declines in gambling performance were associated with the absence of the affective reactions that anticipate choice outcomes and guide future decision making. Our experiments provide evidence that WM processes contribute to the development of somatic markers. If WM functioning is taxed, somatic markers may not develop, and decision making may thereby suffer. PMID:12641178

  15. Acute stress and working memory in older people.

    PubMed

    Pulopulos, Matias M; Hidalgo, Vanesa; Almela, Mercedes; Puig-Perez, Sara; Villada, Carolina; Salvador, Alicia

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have shown that acute stress affects working memory (WM) in young adults, but the effect in older people is understudied. As observed in other types of memory, older people may be less sensitive to acute effects of stress on WM. We performed two independent studies with healthy older men and women (from 55 to 77 years old) to investigate the effects of acute stress (Trier Social Stress Test; TSST) and cortisol on WM. In study 1 (n = 63), after the TSST women (but not men) improved their performance on Digit Span Forward (a measure of the memory span component of WM) but not on Digit Span Backward (a measure of both memory span and the executive component of WM). Furthermore, in women, cortisol levels at the moment of memory testing showed a positive association with the memory span component of WM before and after the TSST, and with the executive component of WM only before the stress task. In study 2 (n = 76), although participants showed a cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) response to the TSST, stress did not affect performance on Letter-Number Sequencing (LNS; a task that places a high demand on the executive component of WM). Cortisol and sAA were not associated with WM. The results indicate that circulating cortisol levels at the moment of memory testing, and not the stress response, affect memory span in older women, and that stress and the increase in cortisol levels after stress do not affect the executive component of WM in older men and women. This study provides further evidence that older people may be less sensitive to stress and stress-induced cortisol response effects on memory processes.

  16. The Working Memory Rating Scale: A Classroom-Based Behavioral Assessment of Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth; Kirkwood, Hannah; Elliott, Julian

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential of the Working Memory Rating Scale (WMRS), an observer-based rating scale that reflects behavioral difficulties of children with poor working memory. The findings indicate good internal reliability and adequate psychometric properties for use as a screening tool by teachers. Higher…

  17. Assessing Working Memory in Spanish-Speaking Children: Automated Working Memory Assessment Battery Adaptation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Injoque-Ricle, Irene; Calero, Alejandra D.; Alloway, Tracy P.; Burin, Debora I.

    2011-01-01

    The Automated Working Memory Assessment battery was designed to assess verbal and visuospatial passive and active working memory processing in children and adolescents. The aim of this paper is to present the adaptation and validation of the AWMA battery to Argentinean Spanish-speaking children aged 6 to 11 years. Verbal subtests were adapted and…

  18. Task rules, working memory, and fluid intelligence.

    PubMed

    Duncan, John; Schramm, Moritz; Thompson, Russell; Dumontheil, Iroise

    2012-10-01

    Many varieties of working memory have been linked to fluid intelligence. In Duncan et al. (Journal of Experimental Psychology:General 137:131-148, 2008), we described limited working memory for new task rules: When rules are complex, some may fail in their control of behavior, though they are often still available for explicit recall. Unlike other kinds of working memory, load is determined in this case not by real-time performance demands, but by the total complexity of the task instructions. Here, we show that the correlation with fluid intelligence is stronger for this aspect of working memory than for several other, more traditional varieties-including simple and complex spans and a test of visual short-term memory. Any task, we propose, requires construction of a mental control program that aids in segregating and assembling multiple task parts and their controlling rules. Fluid intelligence is linked closely to the efficiency of constructing such programs, especially when behavior is complex and novel.

  19. Differences between presentation methods in working memory procedures: a matter of working memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Ricker, Timothy J; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-03-01

    Understanding forgetting from working memory, the memory used in ongoing cognitive processing, is critical to understanding human cognition. In the past decade, a number of conflicting findings have been reported regarding the role of time in forgetting from working memory. This has led to a debate concerning whether longer retention intervals necessarily result in more forgetting. An obstacle to directly comparing conflicting reports is a divergence in methodology across studies. Studies that find no forgetting as a function of retention-interval duration tend to use sequential presentation of memory items, while studies that find forgetting as a function of retention-interval duration tend to use simultaneous presentation of memory items. Here, we manipulate the duration of retention and the presentation method of memory items, presenting items either sequentially or simultaneously. We find that these differing presentation methods can lead to different rates of forgetting because they tend to differ in the time available for consolidation into working memory. The experiments detailed here show that equating the time available for working memory consolidation equates the rates of forgetting across presentation methods. We discuss the meaning of this finding in the interpretation of previous forgetting studies and in the construction of working memory models. PMID:24059859

  20. Updating Positive and Negative Stimuli in Working Memory in Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levens, Sara M.; Gotlib, Ian H.

    2010-01-01

    Difficulties in the ability to update stimuli in working memory (WM) may underlie the problems with regulating emotions that lead to the development and perpetuation of mood disorders such as depression. To examine the ability to update affective material in WM, the authors had diagnosed depressed and never-disordered control participants perform…

  1. Perspectives on working memory: introduction to the special issue.

    PubMed

    Logie, Robert H; Cowan, Nelson

    2015-04-01

    More than 40 years ago, Baddeley and Hitch (1974) published an article with a wealth of experimentation and theorization on working memory, the small amount of information held in mind and often used within cognitive processes such as language comprehension and production, reasoning, and problem solving. We honor this seminal accomplishment in the present special issue, and take this opportunity to provide an introduction to our perspectives on the origin of the theory of working memory, how it has affected our work, what may be coming in the near future, and how the research articles in the present issue contribute to several related themes within the clearly thriving field of working memory.

  2. Working Memory and Reasoning: The Processing Loads Imposed by Analogies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halford, Graeme S.

    The proposals concerning working memory outlined in this paper involve the architecture of working memory, the reasoning mechanisms that draw on it, and the ways in which working memory may develop with age. Ways of assessing task demands and children's working memory capacities are also considered. It is noted that there is long-standing evidence…

  3. Human temporal cortical single neuron activity during working memory maintenance.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  4. Human temporal cortical single neuron activity during working memory maintenance.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  5. Coordinating information from perception and working memory.

    PubMed

    Carlson, R A; Wenger, J L; Sullivan, M A

    1993-06-01

    Individuals must often coordinate information in working memory with information from perception. The demands of coordination have been analyzed in terms of the cost to switch attention. Coordination is considered in terms of the organization of control processes. Ss in 4 experiments performed list-processing tasks that sometimes required alternation between sets of items that were held in working memory or were currently displayed. Experiment 1 demonstrated that performance was slower and more error-prone when alternating between sets than when reporting a single set. On alternation tasks, latency varied with serial position, indicating that Ss paused between pairs of responses. In Experiment 2, this serial position function was observed for tasks requiring alternation between sets of information in the same modality (memory or perception). Experiments 3 and 4 demonstrate that this effect depends on the requirement to generate a new sequence of responses. A model of control processes for coordination is developed and tested.

  6. Working memory, worry, and algebraic ability.

    PubMed

    Trezise, Kelly; Reeve, Robert A

    2014-05-01

    Math anxiety (MA)-working memory (WM) relationships have typically been examined in the context of arithmetic problem solving, and little research has examined the relationship in other math domains (e.g., algebra). Moreover, researchers have tended to examine MA/worry separate from math problem solving activities and have used general WM tasks rather than domain-relevant WM measures. Furthermore, it seems to have been assumed that MA affects all areas of math. It is possible, however, that MA is restricted to particular math domains. To examine these issues, the current research assessed claims about the impact on algebraic problem solving of differences in WM and algebraic worry. A sample of 80 14-year-old female students completed algebraic worry, algebraic WM, algebraic problem solving, nonverbal IQ, and general math ability tasks. Latent profile analysis of worry and WM measures identified four performance profiles (subgroups) that differed in worry level and WM capacity. Consistent with expectations, subgroup membership was associated with algebraic problem solving performance: high WM/low worry>moderate WM/low worry=moderate WM/high worry>low WM/high worry. Findings are discussed in terms of the conceptual relationship between emotion and cognition in mathematics and implications for the MA-WM-performance relationship.

  7. Situated navigational working memory: the role of positive mood.

    PubMed

    Palmiero, Massimiliano; Nori, Raffaella; Rogolino, Carmelo; D'Amico, Simonetta; Piccardi, Laura

    2015-09-01

    The perspective of situated cognition assumes that cognition is not separated from the context. In the present study, the issue if visuospatial memory and navigational working memory are situated was explored by manipulating participants' mood (positive, negative and neutral) while performing two different tasks. College students were randomly assigned to the group of positive, negative or neutral music. Participants filled out the positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS) before and after carrying out the Corsi Test and the Walking Corsi Test. Both tasks were performed forward and backward. Music was played throughout the memory tasks. Firstly, comparing pre-mood induction PANAS scores to post-mood induction PANAS scores, results showed that only positive affects were manipulated: After mood induction, the Positive Music Group produced higher scores, whereas the Negative Music Group produced lower scores than before mood induction; the Neutral Music Group produced no effect. Secondly, the Positive Music Group produced higher scores than Negative and Neutral Music Groups both at the Corsi Test and at the Walking Corsi Test. These results show that situational contexts that induce a specific mood can affect visuospatial memory and navigational working memory, and open to the idea that positive emotions may play a crucial role in enhancing navigational strategies.

  8. Reconceptualizing Working Memory in Educational Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenesi, Barbara; Sana, Faria; Kim, Joseph A.; Shore, David I.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, research from cognitive science has provided a solid theoretical framework to develop evidence-based interventions in education. In particular, research into reading, writing, language, mathematics and multimedia learning has been guided by the application of Baddeley's multicomponent model of working memory. However, an…

  9. Intelligence, Working Memory, and Multitasking Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colom, Roberto; Martinez-Molina, Agustin; Shih, Pei Chun; Santacreu, Jose

    2010-01-01

    Multitasking performance is relevant in everyday life and job analyses highlight the influence of multitasking over several diverse occupations. Intelligence is the best single predictor of overall job performance and it is also related to individual differences in multitasking. However, it has been shown that working memory capacity (WMC) is…

  10. Working Memory and Children's Mental Addition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, John W.; Hitch, Graham J.

    1997-01-01

    Two experiments investigated extent to which English- and German-speaking childrens' mental arithmetic was constrained by working memory. Found higher mental addition spans when numbers were visible throughout calculation than when not. Variation in addition span with age and arithmetical operation difficulty approximated to a linear function of…

  11. A Neural Region of Abstract Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Li, Dawei; Moffitt, Amanda; Becker, Theresa M.; Martin, Elizabeth A.; Saults, J. Scott; Christ, Shawn E.

    2011-01-01

    Over 350 years ago, Descartes proposed that the neural basis of consciousness must be a brain region in which sensory inputs are combined. Using fMRI, we identified at least one such area for working memory, the limited information held in mind, described by William James as the trailing edge of consciousness. Specifically, a region in the left…

  12. Visual Working Memory for Observed Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Justin N.

    2007-01-01

    Human society depends on the ability to remember the actions of other individuals, which is information that must be stored in a temporary buffer to guide behavior after actions have been observed. To date, however, the storage capacity, contents, and architecture of working memory for observed actions are unknown. In this article, the author…

  13. Working Memory and Language: An Overview.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, Alan

    2003-01-01

    This article introduces the concept of a multi-component working memory. Emphasis is placed on the phonological loop component, its fractionation into a storage and processing component, and implications for native and second language learning. An overview of the visual spatial sketchpad and its possible role in language is provided. (Contains…

  14. Working Memory Components and Intelligence in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillman, Carin M.; Nyberg, Lilianne; Bohlin, Gunilla

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated, in children aged 6-13 years, how different components of the working memory (WM) system (short-term storage and executive processes), within both verbal and visuospatial domains, relate to fluid intelligence. We also examined the degree of domain-specificity of the WM components as well as the differentiation of storage…

  15. Measuring Working Memory Deficits in Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Jamie F.; Murray, Laura L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Many adults with aphasia demonstrate concomitant deficits in working memory (WM), but such deficits are difficult to quantify because of a lack of validated measures as well as the complex interdependence between language and WM. We examined the feasibility, reliability, and internal consistency of an "n"-back task for evaluating WM in…

  16. Familiarity Enhances Visual Working Memory for Faces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Margaret C.; Raymond, Jane E.

    2008-01-01

    Although it is intuitive that familiarity with complex visual objects should aid their preservation in visual working memory (WM), empirical evidence for this is lacking. This study used a conventional change-detection procedure to assess visual WM for unfamiliar and famous faces in healthy adults. Across experiments, faces were upright or…

  17. When Higher Working Memory Capacity Hinders Insight

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeCaro, Marci S.; Van Stockum, Charles A., Jr.; Wieth, Mareike B.

    2016-01-01

    Higher working memory capacity (WMC) improves performance on a range of cognitive and academic tasks. However, a greater ability to control attention sometimes leads individuals with higher WMC to persist in using complex, attention-demanding approaches that are suboptimal for a given task. We examined whether higher WMC would hinder insight…

  18. Evidence against Decay in Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2013-01-01

    The article tests the assumption that forgetting in working memory for verbal materials is caused by time-based decay, using the complex-span paradigm. Participants encoded 6 letters for serial recall; each letter was preceded and followed by a processing period comprising 4 trials of difficult visual search. Processing duration, during which…

  19. The impact of bilingualism on working memory in pediatric epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Veenstra, Amy L; Riley, Jeffrey D; Barrett, Lauren E; Muhonen, Michael G; Zupanc, Mary; Romain, Jonathan E; Lin, Jack J; Mucci, Grace

    2016-02-01

    Impairments in executive skills broadly span across multiple childhood epilepsy syndromes and can adversely affect quality of life. Bilingualism has been previously shown to correlate with enhanced executive functioning in healthy individuals. This study sought to determine whether the bilingual advantage in executive functioning exists in the context of pediatric epilepsy. We retrospectively analyzed neuropsychological data in 52 children with epilepsy and compared executive function scores in monolingual versus bilingual children with epilepsy while controlling for socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Bilingual children performed significantly better on the Working Memory Index than did monolingual children. There were no significant differences on the remaining executive function variables. The bilingual advantage appears to persist for working memory in children with epilepsy. These findings suggest that bilingualism is potentially a protective variable in the face of epilepsy-related working memory dysfunction.

  20. A Probabilistic Model of Visual Working Memory: Incorporating Higher Order Regularities into Working Memory Capacity Estimates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brady, Timothy F.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2013-01-01

    When remembering a real-world scene, people encode both detailed information about specific objects and higher order information like the overall gist of the scene. However, formal models of change detection, like those used to estimate visual working memory capacity, assume observers encode only a simple memory representation that includes no…

  1. Liar, liar, working memory on fire: Investigating the role of working memory in childhood verbal deception.

    PubMed

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; McCallum, Fiona; Alloway, Ross G; Hoicka, Elena

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of working memory in verbal deception in children. We presented 6- and 7-year-olds with a temptation resistance paradigm; they played a trivia game and were then given an opportunity to peek at the final answers on the back of a card. Measures of both verbal and visuospatial working memory were included. The good liars performed better on the verbal working memory test in both processing and recall compared with the bad liars. However, there was no difference in visuospatial working scores between good liars and bad liars. This pattern suggests that verbal working memory plays a role in processing and manipulating the multiple pieces of information involved in lie-telling.

  2. Liar, liar, working memory on fire: Investigating the role of working memory in childhood verbal deception.

    PubMed

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; McCallum, Fiona; Alloway, Ross G; Hoicka, Elena

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of working memory in verbal deception in children. We presented 6- and 7-year-olds with a temptation resistance paradigm; they played a trivia game and were then given an opportunity to peek at the final answers on the back of a card. Measures of both verbal and visuospatial working memory were included. The good liars performed better on the verbal working memory test in both processing and recall compared with the bad liars. However, there was no difference in visuospatial working scores between good liars and bad liars. This pattern suggests that verbal working memory plays a role in processing and manipulating the multiple pieces of information involved in lie-telling. PMID:25913892

  3. No Evidence for a Fixed Object Limit in Working Memory: Spatial Ensemble Representations Inflate Estimates of Working Memory Capacity for Complex Objects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brady, Timothy F.; Alvarez, George A.

    2015-01-01

    A central question for models of visual working memory is whether the number of objects people can remember depends on object complexity. Some influential "slot" models of working memory capacity suggest that people always represent 3-4 objects and that only the fidelity with which these objects are represented is affected by object…

  4. Working memory retrieval as a decision process

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Benjamin; Raškevičius, Julius; Bays, Paul M.; Pertzov, Yoni; Husain, Masud

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is a core cognitive process fundamental to human behavior, yet the mechanisms underlying it remain highly controversial. Here we provide a new framework for understanding retrieval of information from WM, conceptualizing it as a decision based on the quality of internal evidence. Recent findings have demonstrated that precision of WM decreases with memory load. If WM retrieval uses a decision process that depends on memory quality, systematic changes in response time distribution should occur as a function of WM precision. We asked participants to view sample arrays and, after a delay, report the direction of change in location or orientation of a probe. As WM precision deteriorated with increasing memory load, retrieval time increased systematically. Crucially, the shape of reaction time distributions was consistent with a linear accumulator decision process. Varying either task relevance of items or maintenance duration influenced memory precision, with corresponding shifts in retrieval time. These results provide strong support for a decision-making account of WM retrieval based on noisy storage of items. Furthermore, they show that encoding, maintenance, and retrieval in WM need not be considered as separate processes, but may instead be conceptually unified as operations on the same noise-limited, neural representation. PMID:24492597

  5. Does Working Memory Training Lead to Generalized Improvements in Children with Low Working Memory? A Randomized Controlled Trial

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunning, Darren L.; Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2013-01-01

    Children with low working memory typically make poor educational progress, and it has been speculated that difficulties in meeting the heavy working memory demands of the classroom may be a contributory factor. Intensive working memory training has been shown to boost performance on untrained memory tasks in a variety of populations. This first…

  6. The affective shift model of work engagement.

    PubMed

    Bledow, Ronald; Schmitt, Antje; Frese, Michael; Kühnel, Jana

    2011-11-01

    On the basis of self-regulation theories, the authors develop an affective shift model of work engagement according to which work engagement emerges from the dynamic interplay of positive and negative affect. The affective shift model posits that negative affect is positively related to work engagement if negative affect is followed by positive affect. The authors applied experience sampling methodology to test the model. Data on affective events, mood, and work engagement was collected twice a day over 9 working days among 55 software developers. In support of the affective shift model, negative mood and negative events experienced in the morning of a working day were positively related to work engagement in the afternoon if positive mood in the time interval between morning and afternoon was high. Individual differences in positive affectivity moderated within-person relationships. The authors discuss how work engagement can be fostered through affect regulation.

  7. Reduced Functional Connectivity during Working Memory in Turner Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Dunkin, Bria; Hong, David S.; Reiss, Allan L.

    2011-01-01

    Turner syndrome (TS) is a genetic disorder affecting females, resulting from the complete or partial absence of an X chromosome. The cognitive profile of TS shows relative strengths in the verbal domain and weaknesses in the procedural domain, including working memory. Neuroimaging studies have identified differences in the morphology of the parietal lobes, and white matter pathways linking frontal and parietal regions, as well as abnormal activation in dorsal frontal and parietal regions. Taken together these findings suggest that abnormal functional connectivity between frontal and parietal regions may be related to working memory impairments in TS, a hypothesis we tested in the present study. We scanned TS and typically developing participants with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they performed visuospatial and phonological working memory tasks. We generated a seed region in parietal cortex based on structural differences in TS and found that functional connectivity with dorsal frontal regions was reduced during working memory in TS. Finally, we found that connectivity was correlated with task performance in TS. These findings suggest that structural brain abnormalities in TS affect not only regional activity but also the functional interactions between regions and that this has important consequences for behavior. PMID:21441396

  8. Does working memory training lead to generalized improvements in children with low working memory? A randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Dunning, Darren L; Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan E

    2013-01-01

    Children with low working memory typically make poor educational progress, and it has been speculated that difficulties in meeting the heavy working memory demands of the classroom may be a contributory factor. Intensive working memory training has been shown to boost performance on untrained memory tasks in a variety of populations. This first randomized controlled trial with low working memory children investigated whether the benefits of training extend beyond standard working memory tasks to other more complex activities typical of the classroom in which working memory plays a role, as well as to other cognitive skills and developing academic abilities. Children aged 7–9 years received either adaptive working memory training, non-adaptive working memory training with low memory loads, or no training. Adaptive training was associated with selective improvements in multiple untrained tests of working memory, with no evidence of changes in classroom analogues of activities that tax working memory, or any other cognitive assessments. Gains in verbal working memory were sustained one year after training. Thus the benefits of working memory training delivered in this way may not extend beyond structured working memory tasks. PMID:24093880

  9. Language representation and working memory with bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Alfredo

    2003-01-01

    Working memory (WM) plays a crucial role in learning a second language (L2). The ability to repeat words in an unknown language has been observed to predict success in learning that language. Conversely, decreased digit span and inability to repeat pseudowords have been related with failure in L2 acquisition. Not only digit span, but also "word span" and "semantic span" should be considered in WM analysis. In addition to the phonological system, a semantic system is proposed in the WM model for language. In bilinguals, brain activation patterns during WM tasks have been observed to be more complex when using a L2. Processing information in L2 is more demanding, and WM may be less efficient. It can be conjectured that language understanding defects in L2 are at least partially due to this decreased efficiency of WM in its phonological as well as in its semantic subsystem. The reader will be introduced to the basic assumptions of WM. It will be emphasized that WM is significantly involved in the ability to learn a L2. Cross-linguistic differences in digit span will be analyzed. It will be concluded that despite digit span and word span are affected by different variables, "semantic span" may be similar across languages. Words in a L2 function as low frequency words, and hence, semantic search takes longer and WM is less efficient. It will be concluded that in addition to the "phonological system," the WM model should include a "semantic system," involving a "semantic store" and a "semantic search" process.

  10. [Working memory and work with memory: visual-spatial and further components of processing].

    PubMed

    Velichkovsky, B M; Challis, B H; Pomplun, M

    1995-01-01

    Empirical and theoretical evidence for the concept of working memory is considered. We argue that the major weakness of this concept is its loose connection with the knowledge about background perceptive and cognitive processes. Results of two relevant experiments are provided. The first study demonstrated the classical chunking effect in a speeded visual search and comparison task, the proper domain of a large-capacity very short term sensory store. Our second study was a kind of extended levels-of-processing experiment. We attempted to manipulate visual, phonological, and (different) executive components of long-term memory in the hope of finding some systematic relationships between these forms of processing. Indeed, the results demonstrated a high degree of systematicity without any apparent need for a concept such as working memory for the explanation. Accordingly, the place for working memory is at all the interfaces where our metacognitive strategies interfere with mostly domain-specific cognitive mechanisms. Working memory is simply our work with memory.

  11. Supramodal parametric working memory processing in humans.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Bernhard; Blankenburg, Felix

    2012-03-01

    Previous studies of delayed-match-to-sample (DMTS) frequency discrimination in animals and humans have succeeded in delineating the neural signature of frequency processing in somatosensory working memory (WM). During retention of vibrotactile frequencies, stimulus-dependent single-cell and population activity in prefrontal cortex was found to reflect the task-relevant memory content, whereas increases in occipital alpha activity signaled the disengagement of areas not relevant for the tactile task. Here, we recorded EEG from human participants to determine the extent to which these mechanisms can be generalized to frequency retention in the visual and auditory domains. Subjects performed analogous variants of a DMTS frequency discrimination task, with the frequency information presented either visually, auditorily, or by vibrotactile stimulation. Examining oscillatory EEG activity during frequency retention, we found characteristic topographical distributions of alpha power over visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortices, indicating systematic patterns of inhibition and engagement of early sensory areas, depending on stimulus modality. The task-relevant frequency information, in contrast, was found to be represented in right prefrontal cortex, independent of presentation mode. In each of the three modality conditions, parametric modulations of prefrontal upper beta activity (20-30 Hz) emerged, in a very similar manner as recently found in vibrotactile tasks. Together, the findings corroborate a view of parametric WM as supramodal internal scaling of abstract quantity information and suggest strong relevance of previous evidence from vibrotactile work for a more general framework of quantity processing in human working memory.

  12. Home sweet home: does where you live matter to working memory and other cognitive skills?

    PubMed

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Alloway, Ross G; Wootan, Samantha

    2014-08-01

    Learning outcomes are associated with a variety of environmental and cognitive factors, and the aim of the current study was to compare the predictive power of these factors in longitudinal outcomes. We recruited children in kindergarten and tested their learning outcomes 2 years later. In kindergarten, children completed tests of IQ, phonological awareness, and memory (sentence memory, short-term memory, and working memory). After 2 years, they took national assessments in reading, writing, and math. Working memory performance was not affected by socioeconomic status (SES), whereas IQ, phonological awareness, and sentence memory scores differed as a function of SES. A series of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that working memory and phonological awareness were better predictors of learning than any other factors tested, including SES. Educational implications include providing intervention during the early years to boost working memory and phonological awareness so as to prevent subsequent learning difficulties. PMID:24508377

  13. THE COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE OF WORKING MEMORY

    PubMed Central

    D’Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R.

    2015-01-01

    For over 50 years, psychologists and neuroscientists have recognized the importance of a “working memory” to coordinate processing when multiple goals are active, and to guide behavior with information that is not present in the immediate environment. In recent years, psychological theory and cognitive neuroscience data have converged on the idea that information is encoded into working memory via the allocation of attention to internal representations – be they semantic long-term memory (e.g., letters, digits, words), sensory, or motoric. Thus, information-based multivariate analyses of human functional MRI data typically find evidence for the temporary representation of stimuli in regions that also process this information in nonworking-memory contexts. The prefrontal cortex, on the other hand, exerts control over behavior by biasing the salience of mnemonic representations, and adjudicating among competing, context-dependent rules. The “control of the controller” emerges from a complex interplay between PFC and striatal circuits, and ascending dopaminergic neuromodulatory signals. PMID:25251486

  14. A neurodynamical model for working memory.

    PubMed

    Pascanu, Razvan; Jaeger, Herbert

    2011-03-01

    Neurodynamical models of working memory (WM) should provide mechanisms for storing, maintaining, retrieving, and deleting information. Many models address only a subset of these aspects. Here we present a rather simple WM model in which all of these performance modes are trained into a recurrent neural network (RNN) of the echo state network (ESN) type. The model is demonstrated on a bracket level parsing task with a stream of rich and noisy graphical script input. In terms of nonlinear dynamics, memory states correspond, intuitively, to attractors in an input-driven system. As a supplementary contribution, the article proposes a rigorous formal framework to describe such attractors, generalizing from the standard definition of attractors in autonomous (input-free) dynamical systems.

  15. Reward associations impact both iconic and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Infanti, Elisa; Hickey, Clayton; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-02-01

    Reward plays a fundamental role in human behavior. A growing number of studies have shown that stimuli associated with reward become salient and attract attention. The aim of the present study was to extend these results into the investigation of iconic memory and visual working memory. In two experiments we asked participants to perform a visual-search task where different colors of the target stimuli were paired with high or low reward. We then tested whether the pre-established feature-reward association affected performance on a subsequent visual memory task, in which no reward was provided. In this test phase participants viewed arrays of 8 objects, one of which had unique color that could match the color associated with reward during the previous visual-search task. A probe appeared at varying intervals after stimulus offset to identify the to-be-reported item. Our results suggest that reward biases the encoding of visual information such that items characterized by a reward-associated feature interfere with mnemonic representations of other items in the test display. These results extend current knowledge regarding the influence of reward on early cognitive processes, suggesting that feature-reward associations automatically interact with the encoding and storage of visual information, both in iconic memory and visual working memory.

  16. The sensory strength of voluntary visual imagery predicts visual working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2014-10-09

    How much we can actively hold in mind is severely limited and differs greatly from one person to the next. Why some individuals have greater capacities than others is largely unknown. Here, we investigated why such large variations in visual working memory (VWM) capacity might occur, by examining the relationship between visual working memory and visual mental imagery. To assess visual working memory capacity participants were required to remember the orientation of a number of Gabor patches and make subsequent judgments about relative changes in orientation. The sensory strength of voluntary imagery was measured using a previously documented binocular rivalry paradigm. Participants with greater imagery strength also had greater visual working memory capacity. However, they were no better on a verbal number working memory task. Introducing a uniform luminous background during the retention interval of the visual working memory task reduced memory capacity, but only for those with strong imagery. Likewise, for the good imagers increasing background luminance during imagery generation reduced its effect on subsequent binocular rivalry. Luminance increases did not affect any of the subgroups on the verbal number working memory task. Together, these results suggest that luminance was disrupting sensory mechanisms common to both visual working memory and imagery, and not a general working memory system. The disruptive selectivity of background luminance suggests that good imagers, unlike moderate or poor imagers, may use imagery as a mnemonic strategy to perform the visual working memory task.

  17. The sensory strength of voluntary visual imagery predicts visual working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2014-01-01

    How much we can actively hold in mind is severely limited and differs greatly from one person to the next. Why some individuals have greater capacities than others is largely unknown. Here, we investigated why such large variations in visual working memory (VWM) capacity might occur, by examining the relationship between visual working memory and visual mental imagery. To assess visual working memory capacity participants were required to remember the orientation of a number of Gabor patches and make subsequent judgments about relative changes in orientation. The sensory strength of voluntary imagery was measured using a previously documented binocular rivalry paradigm. Participants with greater imagery strength also had greater visual working memory capacity. However, they were no better on a verbal number working memory task. Introducing a uniform luminous background during the retention interval of the visual working memory task reduced memory capacity, but only for those with strong imagery. Likewise, for the good imagers increasing background luminance during imagery generation reduced its effect on subsequent binocular rivalry. Luminance increases did not affect any of the subgroups on the verbal number working memory task. Together, these results suggest that luminance was disrupting sensory mechanisms common to both visual working memory and imagery, and not a general working memory system. The disruptive selectivity of background luminance suggests that good imagers, unlike moderate or poor imagers, may use imagery as a mnemonic strategy to perform the visual working memory task. PMID:25301015

  18. The role of working memory in motor learning and performance.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, J P; Masters, R S W; Eves, F F

    2003-09-01

    Three experiments explore the role of working memory in motor skill acquisition and performance. Traditional theories postulate that skill acquisition proceeds through stages of knowing, which are initially declarative but later procedural. The reported experiments challenge that view and support an independent, parallel processing model, which predicts that procedural and declarative knowledge can be acquired separately and that the former does not depend on the availability of working memory, whereas, the latter does. The behaviour of these two processes was manipulated by providing or withholding visual (and auditory) appraisal of outcome feedback. Withholding feedback was predicted to inhibit the use of working memory to appraise success and, thus, prevent the formation of declarative knowledge without affecting the accumulation of procedural knowledge. While the first experiment failed to support these predictions, the second and third experiments demonstrated that procedural and declarative knowledge can be acquired independently. It is suggested that the availability of working memory is crucial to motor performance only when the learner has come to rely on its use. PMID:12941284

  19. The temporal locus of the interaction between working memory consolidation and the attentional blink.

    PubMed

    Akyürek, Elkan G; Leszczyński, Marcin; Schubö, Anna

    2010-11-01

    An increase in concurrent working memory load has been shown to amplify the attentional blink. The present study investigated the temporal locus of this phenomenon, by using a dual rapid serial visual presentation paradigm that enabled the measurement of lateralized event-related potentials. The P3 component was shown to be affected by both working memory load and the lag between the target stimuli, consistent with current models of temporal attention and a functional explanation of the P3 in terms of memory consolidation. P3 amplitude was reduced for short target lags and high memory loads. The P2 component was affected by lag only, and not memory load. Importantly, the N2pc component was modulated also by both lag and memory load. The results showed that early attentional processing (as marked by the N2pc) was suppressed by increased involvement of working memory, a phenomenon not well predicted by many current theories of temporal attention.

  20. Spatial Working Memory Effects in Early Visual Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munneke, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Theeuwes, Jan

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated how spatial working memory recruits early visual cortex. Participants were required to maintain a location in working memory while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals were measured during the retention interval in which no visual stimulation was present. We show working memory effects during the…

  1. Predictors of Verbal Working Memory in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peeters, Marieke; Verhoeven, Ludo; de Moor, Jan

    2009-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to examine the precursors of verbal working memory in 52 children with cerebral palsy with varying degrees of speech impairments in the first grade of special education. Following Baddeley's model of working memory, children's verbal working memory was measured by means of a forced-recognition task. As precursors…

  2. Differential Age Effects on Spatial and Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oosterman, Joukje M.; Morel, Sascha; Meijer, Lisette; Buvens, Cleo; Kessels, Roy P. C.; Postma, Albert

    2011-01-01

    The present study was intended to compare age effects on visual and spatial working memory by using two versions of the same task that differed only in presentation mode. The working memory task contained both a simultaneous and a sequential presentation mode condition, reflecting, respectively, visual and spatial working memory processes. Young…

  3. Past Experience Influences Object Representation in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagar, B.M.; Dixon, M.J.

    2005-01-01

    The nature of object representation in working memory is vital to establishing the capacity of working memory, which in turn shapes the limits of visual cognition and awareness. Although current theories discuss whether representations in working memory are feature-based or object-based, no theory has considered the role of past experience.…

  4. Pitch Perception, Working Memory, and Second-Language Phonological Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posedel, James; Emery, Lisa; Souza, Benjamin; Fountain, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that training on a musical instrument is associated with improvements in working memory and musical pitch perception ability. Good working memory and musical pitch perception ability, in turn, have been linked to certain aspects of language production. The current study examines whether working memory and/or pitch…

  5. Working Memory and Learning: A Practical Guide for Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gathercole, Susan E.; Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2008-01-01

    A good working memory is crucial to becoming a successful leaner, yet there is very little material available in an easy-to-use format that explains the concept and offers practitioners ways to support children with poor working memory in the classroom. This book provides a coherent overview of the role played by working memory in learning during…

  6. Value conditioning modulates visual working memory processes.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Paul M J; FitzGibbon, Lily; Raymond, Jane E

    2016-01-01

    Learning allows the value of motivationally salient events to become associated with stimuli that predict those events. Here, we asked whether value associations could facilitate visual working memory (WM), and whether such effects would be valence dependent. Our experiment was specifically designed to isolate value-based effects on WM from value-based effects on selective attention that might be expected to bias encoding. In a simple associative learning task, participants learned to associate the color of tinted faces with gaining or losing money or neither. Tinted faces then served as memoranda in a face identity WM task for which previously learned color associations were irrelevant and no monetary outcomes were forthcoming. Memory was best for faces with gain-associated tints, poorest for faces with loss-associated tints, and average for faces with no-outcome-associated tints. Value associated with 1 item in the WM array did not modulate memory for other items in the array. Eye movements when studying faces did not depend on the valence of previously learned color associations, arguing against value-based biases being due to differential encoding. This valence-sensitive value-conditioning effect on WM appears to result from modulation of WM maintenance processes.

  7. Prefrontal Cortical GABA Modulation of Spatial Reference and Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Auger, Meagan L.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Dysfunction in prefrontal cortex (PFC) GABA transmission has been proposed to contribute to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, yet how this system regulates different cognitive and mnemonic functions remains unclear. Methods: We assessed the effects of pharmacological reduction of GABAA signaling in the medial PFC of rats on spatial reference/working memory using different versions of the radial-arm maze task. We used a massed-trials procedure to probe how PFC GABA regulates susceptibility to proactive interference. Male rats were well-trained to retrieve food from the same 4 arms of an 8-arm maze, receiving 5 trials/day (1–2min intervals). Results: Infusions of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (12.5–50ng) markedly increased working and reference memory errors and response latencies. Similar treatments also impaired short-term memory on an 8-baited arm task. These effects did not appear to be due to increased susceptibility to proactive interference. In contrast, PFC inactivation via infusion of GABA agonists baclofen/muscimol did not affect reference/working memory. In comparison to the pronounced effects on the 8-arm maze tasks, PFC GABAA antagonism only causes a slight and transient decrease in accuracy on a 2-arm spatial discrimination. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that prefrontal GABA hypofunction severely disrupts spatial reference and short-term memory and that disinhibition of the PFC can, in some instances, perturb memory processes not normally dependent on the frontal lobes. Moreover, these impairments closely resemble those observed in schizophrenic patients, suggesting that perturbation in PFC GABA signaling may contribute to these types of cognitive deficits associated with the disorder. PMID:25552433

  8. Lifelong caloric restriction increases working memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Kuhla, Angela; Lange, Sophie; Holzmann, Carsten; Maass, Fabian; Petersen, Jana; Vollmar, Brigitte; Wree, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) is argued to positively affect general health, longevity and the normally occurring age-related reduction of cognition. This issue is well examined, but most studies investigated the effect of short-term periods of CR. Herein, 4 weeks old female mice were fed caloric restricted for 4, 20 and especially for 74 weeks. CR mice received 60% of food eaten by their ad libitum (AL) fed littermates, and all age-matched groups were behaviorally analyzed. The motor coordination, which was tested by rotarod/accelerod, decreased age-related, but was not influenced by the different periods of CR. In contrast, the age-related impairment of spontaneous locomotor activity and anxiety, both being evaluated by open field and by elevated plus maze test, was found aggravated by a lifelong CR. Measurement of cognitive performance with morris water maze showed that the working memory decreased age-related in AL mice, while a lifelong CR caused a better cognitive performance and resulted in a significantly better spatial memory upon 74 weeks CR feeding. However, a late-onset CR feeding in 66 weeks old mice did not ameliorate the working memory. Therefore, a lifelong CR seems to be necessary to improve working memory.

  9. Lifelong Caloric Restriction Increases Working Memory in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Holzmann, Carsten; Maass, Fabian; Petersen, Jana; Vollmar, Brigitte; Wree, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) is argued to positively affect general health, longevity and the normally occurring age-related reduction of cognition. This issue is well examined, but most studies investigated the effect of short-term periods of CR. Herein, 4 weeks old female mice were fed caloric restricted for 4, 20 and especially for 74 weeks. CR mice received 60% of food eaten by their ad libitum (AL) fed littermates, and all age-matched groups were behaviorally analyzed. The motor coordination, which was tested by rotarod/accelerod, decreased age-related, but was not influenced by the different periods of CR. In contrast, the age-related impairment of spontaneous locomotor activity and anxiety, both being evaluated by open field and by elevated plus maze test, was found aggravated by a lifelong CR. Measurement of cognitive performance with morris water maze showed that the working memory decreased age-related in AL mice, while a lifelong CR caused a better cognitive performance and resulted in a significantly better spatial memory upon 74 weeks CR feeding. However, a late-onset CR feeding in 66 weeks old mice did not ameliorate the working memory. Therefore, a lifelong CR seems to be necessary to improve working memory. PMID:23874758

  10. Lifelong caloric restriction increases working memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Kuhla, Angela; Lange, Sophie; Holzmann, Carsten; Maass, Fabian; Petersen, Jana; Vollmar, Brigitte; Wree, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) is argued to positively affect general health, longevity and the normally occurring age-related reduction of cognition. This issue is well examined, but most studies investigated the effect of short-term periods of CR. Herein, 4 weeks old female mice were fed caloric restricted for 4, 20 and especially for 74 weeks. CR mice received 60% of food eaten by their ad libitum (AL) fed littermates, and all age-matched groups were behaviorally analyzed. The motor coordination, which was tested by rotarod/accelerod, decreased age-related, but was not influenced by the different periods of CR. In contrast, the age-related impairment of spontaneous locomotor activity and anxiety, both being evaluated by open field and by elevated plus maze test, was found aggravated by a lifelong CR. Measurement of cognitive performance with morris water maze showed that the working memory decreased age-related in AL mice, while a lifelong CR caused a better cognitive performance and resulted in a significantly better spatial memory upon 74 weeks CR feeding. However, a late-onset CR feeding in 66 weeks old mice did not ameliorate the working memory. Therefore, a lifelong CR seems to be necessary to improve working memory. PMID:23874758

  11. Interaction between Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Factors: The Influences of Academic Goal Orientation and Working Memory on Mathematical Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Kerry; Ning, Flora; Goh, Hui Chin

    2014-01-01

    Although the effects of achievement goals and working memory on academic performance are well established, it is not clear whether they jointly affect academic performance. Children from Primary 4 and 6 (N = 608) were administered (a) measures of working memory and updating from the automated working memory battery and a running span task, (b)…

  12. Symbiosis of executive and selective attention in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Vandierendonck, André

    2014-01-01

    The notion of working memory (WM) was introduced to account for the usage of short-term memory resources by other cognitive tasks such as reasoning, mental arithmetic, language comprehension, and many others. This collaboration between memory and other cognitive tasks can only be achieved by a dedicated WM system that controls task coordination. To that end, WM models include executive control. Nevertheless, other attention control systems may be involved in coordination of memory and cognitive tasks calling on memory resources. The present paper briefly reviews the evidence concerning the role of selective attention in WM activities. A model is proposed in which selective attention control is directly linked to the executive control part of the WM system. The model assumes that apart from storage of declarative information, the system also includes an executive WM module that represents the current task set. Control processes are automatically triggered when particular conditions in these modules are met. As each task set represents the parameter settings and the actions needed to achieve the task goal, it will depend on the specific settings and actions whether selective attention control will have to be shared among the active tasks. Only when such sharing is required, task performance will be affected by the capacity limits of the control system involved. PMID:25152723

  13. Negative emotion boosts quality of visual working memory representation.

    PubMed

    Xie, Weizhen; Zhang, Weiwei

    2016-08-01

    Negative emotion impacts a variety of cognitive processes, including working memory (WM). The present study investigated whether negative emotion modulated WM capacity (quantity) or resolution (quality), 2 independent limits on WM storage. In Experiment 1, observers tried to remember several colors over 1-s delay and then recalled the color of a randomly picked memory item by clicking a best-matching color on a continuous color wheel. On each trial, before the visual WM task, 1 of 3 emotion conditions (negative, neutral, or positive) was induced by having observers to rate the valence of an International Affective Picture System image. Visual WM under negative emotion showed enhanced resolution compared with neutral and positive conditions, whereas the number of retained representations was comparable across the 3 emotion conditions. These effects were generalized to closed-contour shapes in Experiment 2. To isolate the locus of these effects, Experiment 3 adopted an iconic memory version of the color recall task by eliminating the 1-s retention interval. No significant change in the quantity or quality of iconic memory was observed, suggesting that the resolution effects in the first 2 experiments were critically dependent on the need to retain memory representations over a short period of time. Taken together, these results suggest that negative emotion selectively boosts visual WM quality, supporting the dissociable nature quantitative and qualitative aspects of visual WM representation. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27078744

  14. Symbiosis of executive and selective attention in working memory.

    PubMed

    Vandierendonck, André

    2014-01-01

    The notion of working memory (WM) was introduced to account for the usage of short-term memory resources by other cognitive tasks such as reasoning, mental arithmetic, language comprehension, and many others. This collaboration between memory and other cognitive tasks can only be achieved by a dedicated WM system that controls task coordination. To that end, WM models include executive control. Nevertheless, other attention control systems may be involved in coordination of memory and cognitive tasks calling on memory resources. The present paper briefly reviews the evidence concerning the role of selective attention in WM activities. A model is proposed in which selective attention control is directly linked to the executive control part of the WM system. The model assumes that apart from storage of declarative information, the system also includes an executive WM module that represents the current task set. Control processes are automatically triggered when particular conditions in these modules are met. As each task set represents the parameter settings and the actions needed to achieve the task goal, it will depend on the specific settings and actions whether selective attention control will have to be shared among the active tasks. Only when such sharing is required, task performance will be affected by the capacity limits of the control system involved.

  15. BOLD Frequency Power Indexes Working Memory Performance.

    PubMed

    Balsters, Joshua Henk; Robertson, Ian H; Calhoun, Vince D

    2013-01-01

    Electrophysiology studies routinely investigate the relationship between neural oscillations and task performance. However, the sluggish nature of the BOLD response means that few researchers have investigated the spectral properties of the BOLD signal in a similar manner. For the first time we have applied group ICA to fMRI data collected during a standard working memory task (delayed match-to-sample) and using a multivariate analysis, we investigate the relationship between working memory performance (accuracy and reaction time) and BOLD spectral power within functional networks. Our results indicate that BOLD spectral power within specific networks (visual, temporal-parietal, posterior default-mode network, salience network, basal ganglia) correlated with task accuracy. Multivariate analyses show that the relationship between task accuracy and BOLD spectral power is stronger than the relationship between BOLD spectral power and other variables (age, gender, head movement, and neuropsychological measures). A traditional General Linear Model (GLM) analysis found no significant group differences, or regions that covaried in signal intensity with task accuracy, suggesting that BOLD spectral power holds unique information that is lost in a standard GLM approach. We suggest that the combination of ICA and BOLD spectral power is a useful novel index of cognitive performance that may be more sensitive to brain-behavior relationships than traditional approaches.

  16. Disruption of visual feature binding in working memory.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Taiji; Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J; Saito, Satoru

    2011-01-01

    In a series of five experiments, we studied the effect of a visual suffix on the retention in short-term visual memory of both individual visual features and objects involving the binding of two features. Experiments 1A, 1B, and 2 involved suffixes consisting of features external to the to-be-remembered set and revealed a modest but equivalent disruption on individual and bound feature conditions. Experiments 3A and 3B involved suffixes comprising features that could potentially have formed part of the to-be-remembered set (but did not on that trial). Both experiments showed greater disruption of retention for objects comprising bound features than for their individual features. The results are interpreted as differentiating two components of suffix interference, one affecting memory for features and bindings equally, the other affecting memory for bindings. The general component is tentatively identified with the attentional cost of operating a filter to prevent the suffix from entering visual working memory, whereas the specific component is attributed to the particular fragility of bound representations when the filter fails. PMID:21264628

  17. Working Memory Underpins Cognitive Development, Learning, and Education

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form. It facilitates planning, comprehension, reasoning, and problem-solving. I examine the historical roots and conceptual development of the concept and the theoretical and practical implications of current debates about working memory mechanisms. Then I explore the nature of cognitive developmental improvements in working memory, the role of working memory in learning, and some potential implications of working memory and its development for the education of children and adults. The use of working memory is quite ubiquitous in human thought, but the best way to improve education using what we know about working memory is still controversial. I hope to provide some directions for research and educational practice. PMID:25346585

  18. Working Memory Underpins Cognitive Development, Learning, and Education.

    PubMed

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-06-01

    Working memory is the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form. It facilitates planning, comprehension, reasoning, and problem-solving. I examine the historical roots and conceptual development of the concept and the theoretical and practical implications of current debates about working memory mechanisms. Then I explore the nature of cognitive developmental improvements in working memory, the role of working memory in learning, and some potential implications of working memory and its development for the education of children and adults. The use of working memory is quite ubiquitous in human thought, but the best way to improve education using what we know about working memory is still controversial. I hope to provide some directions for research and educational practice.

  19. Long-term working memory in text production.

    PubMed

    Kellogg, R T

    2001-01-01

    In reading and other high-level cognitive tasks, Ericsson and Kintsch (1995) proposed that the limited capacity of short-term working memory (STWM) is supplemented by long- term working memory (LTWM) for individuals with a high degree of domain-specific knowledge. In Experiment 1, college students (N = 80) wrote persuasive and narrative texts concerning baseball; domain-specific knowledge about baseball and verbal ability was assessed. The results showed that verbal ability and domain-specific knowledge independently affected writing skill, supporting the view that literacy depends on both knowledge sources and refuting one argument raised in support of the LTWM hypothesis. Experiment 2 (N = 42) replicated this outcome and tested the prediction that a high degree of domain-specific knowledge would lessen interference on a secondary task. The data supported the interference prediction, offering evidence that LTWM plays a role in the production of text.

  20. Training Planning and Working Memory in Third Graders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldin, Andrea Paula; Segretin, Maria Soledad; Hermida, Maria Julia; Paz, Luciano; Lipina, Sebastian Javier; Sigman, Mariano

    2013-01-01

    Working memory and planning are fundamental cognitive skills supporting fluid reasoning. We show that 2 games that train working memory and planning skills in school-aged children promote transfer to 2 different tasks: an attentional test and a fluid reasoning test. We also show long-term improvement of planning and memory capacities in…

  1. Rethinking the Connection between Working Memory and Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Archibald, Lisa M. D.; Harder Griebeling, Katherine

    2016-01-01

    Background: Working memory deficits have been found for children with specific language impairment (SLI) on tasks imposing increasing short-term memory load with or without additional, consistent (and simple) processing load. Aims: To examine the processing function of working memory in children with low language (LL) by employing tasks imposing…

  2. Happiness and memory: affective significance of endowment and contrast.

    PubMed

    Liberman, Varda; Boehm, Julia K; Lyubomirsky, Sonja; Ross, Lee D

    2009-10-01

    Three studies (two conducted in Israel and one in the United States) examined associations between self-rated dispositional happiness and tendencies to treat memories of positive and negative events as sources of enhanced or attenuated happiness through the use of "endowment" and "contrast." Although participants generally endorsed items describing happiness-enhancing tendencies more than happiness-diminishing ones, self-reported happiness was associated with greater endorsement of "positive endowment" items and less endorsement of "negative endowment" items, and also with less endorsement of items that involved contrasting the present with happier times in the past. Only in the American sample, however, was happiness associated with greater endorsement of items that involved contrasting the present with less happy times in the past. These data suggest that relatively unhappy people show somewhat conflicting memorial tendencies vis-à-vis happiness, whereas very happy people show simpler, and less conflicting, tendencies. These findings augment the existing literatures on the affective consequences of memory, which have been concerned more with mood than with temperament and/or have dealt only with a subset of the endowment and contrast tendencies explored in the present work.

  3. Working Memory, Long-Term Memory, and Medial Temporal Lobe Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeneson, Annette; Squire, Larry R.

    2012-01-01

    Early studies of memory-impaired patients with medial temporal lobe (MTL) damage led to the view that the hippocampus and related MTL structures are involved in the formation of long-term memory and that immediate memory and working memory are independent of these structures. This traditional idea has recently been revisited. Impaired performance…

  4. Working memory storage is intrinsically domain specific.

    PubMed

    Fougnie, Daryl; Zughni, Samir; Godwin, Douglass; Marois, René

    2015-02-01

    A longstanding debate in working memory (WM) is whether information is maintained in a central, capacity-limited storage system or whether there are domain-specific stores for different modalities. This question is typically addressed by determining whether concurrent storage of 2 different memory arrays produces interference. Prior studies using this approach have shown at least some cost to maintaining 2 memory arrays that differed in perceptual modalities. However, it is not clear whether these WM costs resulted from competition for a central, capacity-limited store or from other potential sources of dual-task interference, such as task preparation and coordination, overlap in representational content (e.g., object vs. space based), or cognitive strategies (e.g., verbalization, chunking of the stimulus material in a higher order structure). In the present study we assess dual-task costs during the concurrent performance of a visuospatial WM task and an auditory object WM task when such sources of interference are minimized. The results show that performance of these 2 WM tasks are independent from each another, even at high WM load. Only when we introduced a common representational format (spatial information) to both WM tasks did dual-task performance begin to suffer. These results are inconsistent with the notion of a domain-independent storage system, and suggest instead that WM is constrained by multiple domain-specific stores and central executive processes. Evidently, there is nothing intrinsic about the functional architecture of the human mind that prevents it from storing 2 distinct representations in WM, as long as these representations do not overlap in any functional domain.

  5. The Development of Attention Systems and Working Memory in Infancy

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Greg D.; Romano, Alexandra C.

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we review research and theory on the development of attention and working memory in infancy using a developmental cognitive neuroscience framework. We begin with a review of studies examining the influence of attention on neural and behavioral correlates of an earlier developing and closely related form of memory (i.e., recognition memory). Findings from studies measuring attention utilizing looking measures, heart rate, and event-related potentials (ERPs) indicate significant developmental change in sustained and selective attention across the infancy period. For example, infants show gains in the magnitude of the attention related response and spend a greater proportion of time engaged in attention with increasing age (Richards and Turner, 2001). Throughout infancy, attention has a significant impact on infant performance on a variety of tasks tapping into recognition memory; however, this approach to examining the influence of infant attention on memory performance has yet to be utilized in research on working memory. In the second half of the article, we review research on working memory in infancy focusing on studies that provide insight into the developmental timing of significant gains in working memory as well as research and theory related to neural systems potentially involved in working memory in early development. We also examine issues related to measuring and distinguishing between working memory and recognition memory in infancy. To conclude, we discuss relations between the development of attention systems and working memory. PMID:26973473

  6. The Development of Attention Systems and Working Memory in Infancy.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Greg D; Romano, Alexandra C

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we review research and theory on the development of attention and working memory in infancy using a developmental cognitive neuroscience framework. We begin with a review of studies examining the influence of attention on neural and behavioral correlates of an earlier developing and closely related form of memory (i.e., recognition memory). Findings from studies measuring attention utilizing looking measures, heart rate, and event-related potentials (ERPs) indicate significant developmental change in sustained and selective attention across the infancy period. For example, infants show gains in the magnitude of the attention related response and spend a greater proportion of time engaged in attention with increasing age (Richards and Turner, 2001). Throughout infancy, attention has a significant impact on infant performance on a variety of tasks tapping into recognition memory; however, this approach to examining the influence of infant attention on memory performance has yet to be utilized in research on working memory. In the second half of the article, we review research on working memory in infancy focusing on studies that provide insight into the developmental timing of significant gains in working memory as well as research and theory related to neural systems potentially involved in working memory in early development. We also examine issues related to measuring and distinguishing between working memory and recognition memory in infancy. To conclude, we discuss relations between the development of attention systems and working memory.

  7. Working-memory training improves developmental dyslexia in Chinese children.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yan; Wang, Jing; Wu, Hanrong; Zhu, Dongmei; Zhang, Yu

    2013-02-15

    Although plasticity in the neural system underlies working memory, and working memory can be improved by training, there is thus far no evidence that children with developmental dyslexia can benefit from working-memory training. In the present study, thirty dyslexic children aged 8-11 years were recruited from an elementary school in Wuhan, China. They received working-memory training, including training in visuospatial memory, verbal memory, and central executive tasks. The difficulty of the tasks was adjusted based on the performance of each subject, and the training sessions lasted 40 minutes per day, for 5 weeks. The results showed that working-memory training significantly enhanced performance on the nontrained working memory tasks such as the visuospatial, the verbal domains, and central executive tasks in children with developmental dyslexia. More importantly, the visual rhyming task and reading fluency task were also significantly improved by training. Progress on working memory measures was related to changes in reading skills. These experimental findings indicate that working memory is a pivotal factor in reading development among children with developmental dyslexia, and interventions to improve working memory may help dyslexic children to become more proficient in reading. PMID:25206687

  8. Manipulations of attention dissociate fragile visual short-term memory from visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Sligte, Ilja G; Lamme, Victor A F

    2011-05-01

    People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research suggests that in addition, an intermediate stage of memory in between iconic memory and visual working memory exists. This intermediate stage has a large capacity and a lifetime of several seconds, but is easily overwritten by new stimulation. We therefore termed it fragile VSTM. In previous studies, fragile VSTM has been dissociated from iconic memory by the characteristics of the memory trace. In the present study, we dissociated fragile VSTM from visual working memory by showing a differentiation in their dependency on attention. A decrease in attention during presentation of the stimulus array greatly reduced the capacity of visual working memory, while this had only a small effect on the capacity of fragile VSTM. We conclude that fragile VSTM is a separate memory store from visual working memory. Thus, a tripartite division of VSTM appears to be in place, comprising iconic memory, fragile VSTM and visual working memory. PMID:21236273

  9. Memories affect mood: evidence from covert experimental assignment to positive, neutral, and negative memory recall.

    PubMed

    Gillihan, Seth J; Kessler, Jennifer; Farah, Martha J

    2007-06-01

    Memory recall has been proposed as a common and effective mood regulation strategy. Although several studies have presented results suggesting that recalling valenced memories affects subsequent mood, their designs allow for alternative interpretations of the observed effects. Two such alternatives include the reverse effect (mood effects on memory due to non-experimental assignment to memory recall condition) and demand characteristics of the experiment. We used covert experimental assignment to memory condition, asking subjects (N=314; 56% female) to recall memories that were primarily positive, neutral, or negative. Results showed the expected effect on mood (p<.002), with reported mood worst in the negative memory condition, better in the neutral condition, and best in the positive condition. These results suggest that valenced memory recall does indeed exert an effect on mood, and may do so even without the individual's awareness.

  10. Past experience influences object representation in working memory.

    PubMed

    Wagar, Brandon M; Dixon, Mike J

    2005-04-01

    The nature of object representation in working memory is vital to establishing the capacity of working memory, which in turn shapes the limits of visual cognition and awareness. Although current theories discuss whether representations in working memory are feature-based or object-based, no theory has considered the role of past experience. However, work with humans and non-human primates suggests that once participants learn which features are important for category membership, these diagnostic features become more salient than non-diagnostic features in long-term memory and object recognition. Critically, the brain areas involved in this diagnosticity effect are also recruited during working memory tasks. We report two experiments testing whether a diagnosticity effect exists in working memory; and whether it is present when visual information is encoded into working memory, or if it is the result of maintenance within working memory. Results showed a diagnosticity effect which was present at encoding. Maintenance did not influence the nature of object representation in working memory. These findings show that the meaning we glean from our past experience has a profound influence on the nature of object representation in working memory.

  11. Working memory for speech and music.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Katrin; Koelsch, Stefan

    2012-04-01

    The present paper reviews behavioral and neuroimaging findings on similarities and differences between verbal and tonal working memory (WM), the influence of musical training, and the effect of strategy use on WM for tones. Whereas several studies demonstrate an overlap of core structures (Broca's area, premotor cortex, inferior parietal lobule), preliminary findings are discussed that imply, if confirmed, the existence of a tonal and a phonological loop in musicians. This conclusion is based on the findings of partly differing neural networks underlying verbal and tonal WM in musicians, suggesting that functional plasticity has been induced by musical training. We further propose a strong link between production and auditory WM: data indicate that both verbal and tonal auditory WM are based on the knowledge of how to produce the to-be-remembered sounds and, therefore, that sensorimotor representations are involved in the temporary maintenance of auditory information in WM.

  12. Time and interference: Effects on working memory.

    PubMed

    Botto, Marta; Palladino, Paola

    2016-05-01

    This study tested predictions from the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model with a classical verbal working memory (WM) task, where target and non-target information interfere strongly with each other. Different predictions can be formulated according to the dominant perspectives (TBRS and interference hypothesis) on the role of inhibitory control in WM task performance. Here, we aimed to trace the activation of irrelevant information, examining priming effects in a lexical decision task immediately following WM recall. Results indicate the roles of both time and interference constraints in determining task performance. In particular, the role of time available seemed crucial at the highest WM loads (i.e., 3 and 4 memoranda). These were also associated with a higher activation of no-longer-relevant information but, in this case, independently from time available for processing. PMID:26085338

  13. Conceptualizing and Measuring Working Memory and its Relationship to Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Heather Harris; Fergadiotis, Gerasimos

    2011-01-01

    Background General agreement exists in the literature that individuals with aphasia can exhibit a working memory deficit that contributes to their language processing impairments. Though conceptualized within different working memory frameworks, researchers have suggested that individuals with aphasia have limited working memory capacity, impaired attention-control processes as well as impaired inhibitory mechanisms. However, across studies investigating working memory ability in individuals with aphasia, different measures have been used to quantify their working memory ability and identify the relationship between working memory and language performance. Aims The primary objectives of this article are to (1) review current working memory theoretical frameworks, (2) review tasks used to measure working memory, and (3) discuss findings from studies that have investigated working memory as they relate to language processing in aphasia. Main Contribution Though findings have been consistent across studies investigating working memory ability in individuals with aphasia, discussion of how working memory is conceptualized and defined is often missing, as is discussion of results within a theoretical framework. This is critical, as working memory is conceptualized differently across the different theoretical frameworks. They differ in explaining what limits capacity and the source of individual differences as well as how information is encoded, maintained, and retrieved. When test methods are considered within a theoretical framework, specific hypotheses can be tested and stronger conclusions that are less susceptible to different interpretations can be made. Conclusions Working memory ability has been investigated in numerous studies with individuals with aphasia. To better understand the underlying cognitive constructs that contribute to the language deficits exhibited by individuals with aphasia, future investigations should operationally define the cognitive

  14. Heritability of working memory brain activation.

    PubMed

    Blokland, Gabriëlla A M; McMahon, Katie L; Thompson, Paul M; Martin, Nicholas G; de Zubicaray, Greig I; Wright, Margaret J

    2011-07-27

    Although key to understanding individual variation in task-related brain activation, the genetic contribution to these individual differences remains largely unknown. Here we report voxel-by-voxel genetic model fitting in a large sample of 319 healthy, young adult, human identical and fraternal twins (mean ± SD age, 23.6 ± 1.8 years) who performed an n-back working memory task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at a high magnetic field (4 tesla). Patterns of task-related brain response (BOLD signal difference of 2-back minus 0-back) were significantly heritable, with the highest estimates (40-65%) in the inferior, middle, and superior frontal gyri, left supplementary motor area, precentral and postcentral gyri, middle cingulate cortex, superior medial gyrus, angular gyrus, superior parietal lobule, including precuneus, and superior occipital gyri. Furthermore, high test-retest reliability for a subsample of 40 twins indicates that nongenetic variance in the fMRI brain response is largely due to unique environmental influences rather than measurement error. Individual variations in activation of the working memory network are therefore significantly influenced by genetic factors. By establishing the heritability of cognitive brain function in a large sample that affords good statistical power, and using voxel-by-voxel analyses, this study provides the necessary evidence for task-related brain activation to be considered as an endophenotype for psychiatric or neurological disorders, and represents a substantial new contribution to the field of neuroimaging genetics. These genetic brain maps should facilitate discovery of gene variants influencing cognitive brain function through genome-wide association studies, potentially opening up new avenues in the treatment of brain disorders. PMID:21795540

  15. Object-based Encoding in Visual Working Memory: Evidence from Memory-driven Attentional Capture.

    PubMed

    Gao, Zaifeng; Yu, Shixian; Zhu, Chengfeng; Shui, Rende; Weng, Xuchu; Li, Peng; Shen, Mowei

    2016-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) adopts a specific manner of object-based encoding (OBE) to extract perceptual information: Whenever one feature-dimension is selected for entry into VWM, the others are also extracted. Currently most studies revealing OBE probed an 'irrelevant-change distracting effect', where changes of irrelevant-features dramatically affected the performance of the target feature. However, the existence of irrelevant-feature change may affect participants' processing manner, leading to a false-positive result. The current study conducted a strict examination of OBE in VWM, by probing whether irrelevant-features guided the deployment of attention in visual search. The participants memorized an object's colour yet ignored shape and concurrently performed a visual-search task. They searched for a target line among distractor lines, each embedded within a different object. One object in the search display could match the shape, colour, or both dimensions of the memory item, but this object never contained the target line. Relative to a neutral baseline, where there was no match between the memory and search displays, search time was significantly prolonged in all match conditions, regardless of whether the memory item was displayed for 100 or 1000 ms. These results suggest that task-irrelevant shape was extracted into VWM, supporting OBE in VWM. PMID:26956084

  16. Working memory capacity and overgeneral autobiographical memory in young and older adults.

    PubMed

    Ros, Laura; Latorre, José Miguel; Serrano, Juan Pedro

    2010-01-01

    The objectives of this study are to compare the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) performance of two healthy samples of younger and older adults and to analyse the relationship between overgeneral memory (OGM) and working memory executive processes (WMEP) using a structural equation modelling with latent variables. The AMT and sustained attention, short-term memory and working memory tasks were administered to a group of young adults (N = 50) and a group of older adults (N = 46). On the AMT, the older adults recalled a greater number of categorical memories (p = .000) and fewer specific memories (p = .000) than the young adults, confirming that OGM occurs in the normal population and increases with age. WMEP was measured by reading span and a working memory with sustained attention load task. Structural equation modelling reflects that WMEP shows a strong relationship with OGM: lower scores on WMEP reflect an OGM phenomenon characterized by higher categorical and lower specific memories.

  17. Language, visual working memory, and dot subtraction: What counts?

    PubMed

    Briere, Jennifer L; Campbell, Jamie I D

    2016-03-01

    To investigate cognitive factors affecting subtraction of visual objects, we adapted the dot subtraction task developed by Pica, Lemer, Izard, and Dehaene (2004), who used it to investigate calculation by the Mundurukú, an indigene group in Brazil that has a limited number word vocabulary. In the dot subtraction task, briefly displayed arrays of moving dots are used to represent the quantities for subtraction. We tested 40 Canadian university students' dot enumeration, Arabic digit subtraction, visual working memory, and performance on the dot subtraction task with dot display durations of 2, 1.5, 1, and .5 s. In the 2 s condition, error rates were uniformly low, whereas in the .5 s condition, error rates increased sharply as the minuend increased from 4 to 8, as was observed with the Mundurukú. Individual differences in dot subtraction accuracy were predicted by dot enumeration skill with longer dot display durations but were predicted by visual working memory efficiency with shorter durations. Pica et al. (2004) attributed the Mundurukú participants' very poor subtraction to the absence of counting words, but our results show that a shift to reliance on visual working memory is a nonlinguistic factor that comes into play in the dot subtraction task when time to encode the dot arrays is limited.

  18. The Development of Time-Based Prospective Memory in Childhood: The Role of Working Memory Updating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Voigt, Babett; Mahy, Caitlin E. V.; Ellis, Judi; Schnitzspahn, Katharina; Krause, Ivonne; Altgassen, Mareike; Kliegel, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    This large-scale study examined the development of time-based prospective memory (PM) across childhood and the roles that working memory updating and time monitoring play in driving age effects in PM performance. One hundred and ninety-seven children aged 5 to 14 years completed a time-based PM task where working memory updating load was…

  19. The effect of pain on memory for affective words.

    PubMed

    Kuhajda, M C; Thorn, B E; Klinger, M R

    1998-01-01

    Memory is a key cognitive variable in pain management, but lacks extensive research. This study is a replication and extension of Seltzer and Yarczower's investigation of pain's influence on memory for affective words, which found fewer positive words and more negative words recalled if subjects were in acute pain (versus no pain). In the present study, two experiments were conducted: one with a recall memory test and one with a recognition memory test. One hundred sixty undergraduate subjects were randomly placed in one of four groups: two groups had the same condition (pain or no pain) for both the encoding task and memory test, and two groups had mixed conditions (pain at encoding-no pain at memory test or no pain at encoding-pain at memory test). Pain was induced by 0 degrees-2 degrees C water immersion. At encoding, subjects categorized words by judging them as either positive or negative. Results of both experiments show that pain impairs memory. In neither experiment were differences found on memory for positive and negative words. These results do not support Seltzer and Yarczower's discriminative effects of pain on word category, but they are consistent with other research using acute pain manipulations and chronic pain populations, suggesting that pain interferes with memory. It is hypothesized that pain depletes scarce attentional resources, thereby interfering with concurrent cognitive tasks such as thinking, reasoning, and remembering.

  20. The role of working memory in the metaphor interference effect.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Russell S; Maclaren, Rick; Chiappe, Dan L

    2010-06-01

    Participants took longer to judge that metaphors (e.g., an insult is a razor, memory is a warehouse) were literally false than to judge that scrambled sentences (e.g., an insult is a warehouse) were false. This result is the metaphor interference effect (MIE). It demonstrates that metaphor processing is automatic. In this experiment, we found that the magnitude of the MIE is predicted by working memory (WM) capacity, with higher WM yielding a smaller MIE. This suggests that although metaphor comprehension is automatic, the early processing of metaphors is controllable by executive mechanisms. We relate our results to Kintsch's (2000, 2001) predication model. Specifically, we suggest that mechanisms of WM influence metaphor processing by affecting the effectiveness of the construction-integration process that identifies common properties between topics and vehicles. WM also influences the speed with which meanings are identified as literal or figurative.

  1. Working memory influences processing speed and reading fluency in ADHD.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Lisa A; Ryan, Matthew; Martin, Rebecca B; Ewen, Joshua; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Denckla, Martha B; Mahone, E Mark

    2011-01-01

    Processing-speed deficits affect reading efficiency, even among individuals who recognize and decode words accurately. Children with ADHD who decode words accurately can still have inefficient reading fluency, leading to a bottleneck in other cognitive processes. This "slowing" in ADHD is associated with deficits in fundamental components of executive function underlying processing speed, including response selection. The purpose of the present study was to deconstruct processing speed in order to determine which components of executive control best explain the "processing" speed deficits related to reading fluency in ADHD. Participants (41 ADHD, 21 controls), ages 9-14 years, screened for language disorders, word reading deficits, and psychiatric disorders, were administered measures of copying speed, processing speed, reading fluency, working memory, reaction time, inhibition, and auditory attention span. Compared to controls, children with ADHD showed reduced oral and silent reading fluency and reduced processing speed-driven primarily by deficits on WISC-IV Coding. In contrast, groups did not differ on copying speed. After controlling for copying speed, sex, severity of ADHD-related symptomatology, and GAI, slowed "processing" speed (i.e., Coding) was significantly associated with verbal span and measures of working memory but not with measures of response control/inhibition, lexical retrieval speed, reaction time, or intrasubject variability. Further, "processing" speed (i.e., Coding, residualized for copying speed) and working memory were significant predictors of oral reading fluency. Abnormalities in working memory and response selection (which are frontally mediated and enter into the output side of processing speed) may play an important role in deficits in reading fluency in ADHD, potentially more than posteriorally mediated problems with orienting of attention or perceiving the stimulus.

  2. Working Memory Influences Processing Speed and Reading Fluency in ADHD

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, Lisa A.; Ryan, Matthew; Martin, Rebecca B.; Ewen, Joshua; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Denckla, Martha B.; Mahone, E. Mark

    2012-01-01

    Processing speed deficits affect reading efficiency, even among individuals who recognize and decode words accurately. Children with ADHD who decode words accurately can still have inefficient reading fluency, leading to a bottleneck in other cognitive processes. This “slowing” in ADHD is associated with deficits in fundamental components of executive function underlying processing speed, including response selection. The purpose of the present study was to deconstruct processing speed in order to determine which components of executive control best explain the “processing” speed deficits related to reading fluency in ADHD. Participants (41 ADHD, 21 controls), ages 9-14, screened for language disorders, word reading deficits, and psychiatric disorders, were administered measures of copying speed, processing speed, reading fluency, working memory, reaction time, inhibition, and auditory attention span. Compared to controls, children with ADHD showed reduced oral and silent reading fluency, and reduced processing speed—driven primarily by deficits on WISC-IV Coding. In contrast, groups did not differ on copying speed. After controlling for copying speed, sex, severity of ADHD-related symptomatology, and GAI, slowed “processing” speed (i.e., Coding) was significantly associated with verbal span and measures of working memory, but not with measures of response control/inhibition, lexical retrieval speed, reaction time, or intra-subject variability. Further, “processing” speed (i.e., Coding, residualized for copying speed) and working memory were significant predictors of oral reading fluency. Abnormalities in working memory and response selection (which are frontally-mediated and enter into the output side of processing speed) may play an important role in deficits in reading fluency in ADHD, potentially more than posteriorally-mediated problems with orienting of attention or perceiving the stimulus. PMID:21287422

  3. Spatial Working Memory and Gender Differences in Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geiger, John F.; Litwiller, Robert M.

    2005-01-01

    One reason for the lack of female participation in science could be due to cognitive differences between males and females. The present study measured verbal and spatial working memory for 15 males and 48 females. Males were found to have both a larger verbal memory and a larger spatial memory. Participants then read texts that either presented…

  4. Evidence for Two Attentional Components in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, Richard J.; Baddeley, Alan D.; Hitch, Graham J.

    2014-01-01

    How does executive attentional control contribute to memory for sequences of visual objects, and what does this reveal about storage and processing in working memory? Three experiments examined the impact of a concurrent executive load (backward counting) on memory for sequences of individually presented visual objects. Experiments 1 and 2 found…

  5. Children's Working Memory: Investigating Performance Limitations in Complex Span Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conlin, J.A.; Gathercole, S.E.; Adams, J.W.

    2005-01-01

    Three experiments investigated the roles of resource-sharing and intrinsic memory demands in complex working memory span performance in 7- and 9-year-olds. In Experiment 1, the processing complexity of arithmetic operations was varied under conditions in which processing times were equivalent. Memory span did not differ as a function of processing…

  6. Working memory for braille is shaped by experience.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Henri; Scherzer, Peter; Viau, Robert; Voss, Patrice; Lepore, Franco

    2011-03-01

    Tactile working memory was found to be more developed in completely blind (congenital and acquired) than in semi-sighted subjects, indicating that experience plays a crucial role in shaping working memory. A model of working memory, adapted from the classical model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch1 and Baddeley2 is presented where the connection strengths of a highly cross-modal network are altered through experience.

  7. Working Memory Effects in the L2 Processing of Ambiguous Relative Clauses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopp, Holger

    2014-01-01

    This article investigates whether and how L2 sentence processing is affected by memory constraints that force serial parsing. Monitoring eye movements, we test effects of working memory on L2 relative-clause attachment preferences in a sample of 75 late-adult German learners of English and 25 native English controls. Mixed linear regression…

  8. Spatial working memory in asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects.

    PubMed

    Grassi, B; Garghentini, G; Campana, A; Grassi, E; Bertelli, S; Cinque, P; Epifani, M; Lazzarin, A; Scarone, S

    1999-01-01

    Many clinical and research findings converge to indicate that frontal lobe, basal ganglia, and related neuronal connections are primarily involved in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; frontal lobe, mainly the prefrontal cortex, has a specialized role in working memory processes. This study focused on neuropsychological evaluation of the spatial component of working memory in a sample of 34 asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects as compared with 34 age- and sex-matched seronegative control subjects. A computer-administered test assessing spatial working memory was used for the neuropsychological evaluation. The findings did not show any spatial working memory impairment during the asymptomatic phase of HIV infection.

  9. Memorial stone (R. Norris and Son Locomotive Works), level 270 ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Memorial stone (R. Norris and Son Locomotive Works), level 270 - Washington Monument, High ground West of Fifteenth Street, Northwest, between Independence & Constitution Avenues, Washington, District of Columbia, DC

  10. Guanfacine ameliorates hypobaric hypoxia induced spatial working memory deficits.

    PubMed

    Kauser, H; Sahu, S; Kumar, S; Panjwani, U

    2014-01-17

    Hypobaric hypoxia (HH) observed at high altitude causes mild cognitive impairment specifically affecting attention and working memory. Adrenergic dysregulation and neuronal damage in prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in hypoxia induced memory deficits. Optimal stimulation of alpha 2A adrenergic receptor in PFC facilitates the spatial working memory (SWM) under the conditions of adrenergic dysregulation. Therefore the present study was designed to test the efficacy of alpha 2A adrenergic agonist, Guanfacine (GFC), to restore HH induced SWM deficits and PFC neuronal damage. The rats were exposed to chronic HH equivalent to 25,000ft for 7days in an animal decompression chamber and received daily treatment of GFC at a dose of 1mg/kg body weight via the intramuscular route during the period of exposure. The cognitive performance was assessed by Delayed Alternation Task (DAT) using T-Maze and PFC neuronal damage was studied by apoptotic and neurodegenerative markers. Percentage of correct choice decreased significantly while perseverative errors showed a significant increase after 7days HH exposure, GFC significantly ameliorated the SWM deficits and perseveration. There was a marked and significant increase in chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, neuronal pyknosis and fluoro Jade positive cells in layer II of the medial PFC in hypoxia exposed group, administration of GFC significantly reduced the magnitude of these changes. Modulation of adrenergic mechanisms by GFC may serve as an effective countermeasure in amelioration of prefrontal deficits and neurodegenerative changes during HH. PMID:24184415

  11. Visual long-term memory has the same limit on fidelity as visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Brady, Timothy F; Konkle, Talia; Gill, Jonathan; Oliva, Aude; Alvarez, George A

    2013-06-01

    Visual long-term memory can store thousands of objects with surprising visual detail, but just how detailed are these representations, and how can one quantify this fidelity? Using the property of color as a case study, we estimated the precision of visual information in long-term memory, and compared this with the precision of the same information in working memory. Observers were shown real-world objects in random colors and were asked to recall the colors after a delay. We quantified two parameters of performance: the variability of internal representations of color (fidelity) and the probability of forgetting an object's color altogether. Surprisingly, the fidelity of color information in long-term memory was comparable to the asymptotic precision of working memory. These results suggest that long-term memory and working memory may be constrained by a common limit, such as a bound on the fidelity required to retrieve a memory representation. PMID:23630219

  12. Spatial Working Memory in Humans Depends on Theta and High Gamma Synchronization in the Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Alekseichuk, Ivan; Turi, Zsolt; Amador de Lara, Gabriel; Antal, Andrea; Paulus, Walter

    2016-06-20

    Previous, albeit correlative, findings have shown that the neural mechanisms underlying working memory critically require cross-structural and cross-frequency coupling mechanisms between theta and gamma neural oscillations. However, the direct causality between cross-frequency coupling and working memory performance remains to be demonstrated. Here we externally modulated the interaction of theta and gamma rhythms in the prefrontal cortex using novel cross-frequency protocols of transcranial alternating current stimulation to affect spatial working memory performance in humans. Enhancement of working memory performance and increase of global neocortical connectivity were observed when bursts of high gamma oscillations (80-100 Hz) coincided with the peaks of the theta waves, whereas superimposition on the trough of the theta wave and low gamma frequency protocols were ineffective. Thus, our results demonstrate the sensitivity of working memory performance and global neocortical connectivity to the phase and rhythm of the externally driven theta-gamma cross-frequency synchronization.

  13. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Moore, David R; Guiraud, Jeanne; Molloy, Katharine; Yan, Ting-Ting; Amitay, Sygal

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual training is generally assumed to improve perception by modifying the encoding or decoding of sensory information. However, this assumption is incompatible with recent demonstrations that transfer of learning can be enhanced by across-trial variation of training stimuli or task. Here we present three lines of evidence from healthy adults in support of the idea that the enhanced transfer of auditory discrimination learning is mediated by working memory (WM). First, the ability to discriminate small differences in tone frequency or duration was correlated with WM measured with a tone n-back task. Second, training frequency discrimination around a variable frequency transferred to and from WM learning, but training around a fixed frequency did not. The transfer of learning in both directions was correlated with a reduction of the influence of stimulus variation in the discrimination task, linking WM and its improvement to across-trial stimulus interaction in auditory discrimination. Third, while WM training transferred broadly to other WM and auditory discrimination tasks, variable-frequency training on duration discrimination did not improve WM, indicating that stimulus variation challenges and trains WM only if the task demands stimulus updating in the varied dimension. The results provide empirical evidence as well as a theoretic framework for interactions between cognitive and sensory plasticity during perceptual experience. PMID:26799068

  14. Working Memory Capacity as a Dynamic Process

    PubMed Central

    Simmering, Vanessa R.; Perone, Sammy

    2013-01-01

    A well-known characteristic of working memory (WM) is its limited capacity. The source of such limitations, however, is a continued point of debate. Developmental research is positioned to address this debate by jointly identifying the source(s) of limitations and the mechanism(s) underlying capacity increases. Here we provide a cross-domain survey of studies and theories of WM capacity development, which reveals a complex picture: dozens of studies from 50 papers show nearly universal increases in capacity estimates with age, but marked variation across studies, tasks, and domains. We argue that the full pattern of performance cannot be captured through traditional approaches emphasizing single causes, or even multiple separable causes, underlying capacity development. Rather, we consider WM capacity as a dynamic process that emerges from a unified cognitive system flexibly adapting to the context and demands of each task. We conclude by enumerating specific challenges for researchers and theorists that will need to be met in order to move our understanding forward. PMID:23335902

  15. Working memory management and predicted utility.

    PubMed

    Chatham, Christopher H; Badre, David

    2013-01-01

    Given the limited capacity of working memory (WM), its resources should be allocated strategically. One strategy is filtering, whereby access to WM is granted preferentially to items with the greatest utility. However, reallocation of WM resources might be required if the utility of maintained information subsequently declines. Here, we present behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging evidence that human participants track changes in the predicted utility of information in WM. First, participants demonstrated behavioral costs when the utility of items already maintained in WM declined and resources should be reallocated. An adapted Q-learning model indicated that these costs scaled with the historical utility of individual items. Finally, model-based neuroimaging demonstrated that frontal cortex tracked the utility of items to be maintained in WM, whereas ventral striatum tracked changes in the utility of items maintained in WM to the degree that these items are no longer useful. Our findings suggest that frontostriatal mechanisms track the utility of information in WM, and that these dynamics may predict delays in the removal of information from WM.

  16. Negative affect promotes encoding of and memory for details at the expense of the gist: affect, encoding, and false memories.

    PubMed

    Storbeck, Justin

    2013-01-01

    I investigated whether negative affective states enhance encoding of and memory for item-specific information reducing false memories. Positive, negative, and neutral moods were induced, and participants then completed a Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) false-memory task. List items were presented in unique spatial locations or unique fonts to serve as measures for item-specific encoding. The negative mood conditions had more accurate memories for item-specific information, and they also had fewer false memories. The final experiment used a manipulation that drew attention to distinctive information, which aided learning for DRM words, but also promoted item-specific encoding. For the condition that promoted item-specific encoding, false memories were reduced for positive and neutral mood conditions to a rate similar to that of the negative mood condition. These experiments demonstrated that negative affective cues promote item-specific processing reducing false memories. People in positive and negative moods encode events differently creating different memories for the same event.

  17. Working Memory and Recollection Contribute to Academic Achievement

    PubMed Central

    Blankenship, Tashauna L.; O’Neill, Meagan; Ross, Alleyne; Bell, Martha Ann

    2015-01-01

    The contributions of working memory and recollection to academic achievement are typically examined separately and most often with children who have learning difficulties. This study is the first to observe both types of memory in the same study and in typically developing children. Academic achievement focused on standardized assessments of math fluency, calculation, reading fluency, and passage comprehension. As noted in previous studies, working memory was associated with each assessed measure of academic achievement. Recollection, however, specifically contributed to math fluency and passage comprehension. Thus, recollection should be considered alongside working memory in studies of academic achievement. PMID:26644761

  18. Working Memory and Short-Term Memory Abilities in Accomplished Multilinguals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biedron, Adriana; Szczepaniak, Anna

    2012-01-01

    The role of short-term memory and working memory in accomplished multilinguals was investigated. Twenty-eight accomplished multilinguals were compared to 36 mainstream philology students. The following instruments were used in the study: three memory subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale (Digit Span, Digit-Symbol Coding, and Arithmetic,…

  19. Everyday Memory and Working Memory in Adolescents with Mild Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van der Molen, M. J.; Van Luit, J. E. H.; Van der Molen, Maurits W.; Jongmans, Marian J.

    2010-01-01

    Everyday memory and its relationship to working memory was investigated in adolescents with mild intellectual disability and compared to typically developing adolescents of the same age (CA) and younger children matched on mental age (MA). Results showed a delay on almost all memory measures for the adolescents with mild intellectual disability…

  20. Introduction to the special issue on visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2014-10-01

    Visual working memory is a volatile, limited-capacity memory that appears to play an important role in our impression of a visual world that is continuous in time. It also mediates between the contents of the mind and the contents of that visual world. Research on visual working memory has become increasingly prominent in recent years. The articles in this special issue of Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics describe new empirical findings and theoretical understandings of the topic.

  1. The Role of Working Memory in Multimedia Instruction: Is Working Memory Working during Learning from Text and Pictures?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schuler, Anne; Scheiter, Katharina; van Genuchten, Erlijn

    2011-01-01

    A lot of research has focused on the beneficial effects of using multimedia, that is, text and pictures, for learning. Theories of multimedia learning are based on Baddeley's working memory model (Baddeley 1999). Despite this theoretical foundation, there is only little research that aims at empirically testing whether and more importantly how…

  2. Attention, Working Memory, and Long-Term Memory in Multimedia Learning: An Integrated Perspective Based on Process Models of Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schweppe, Judith; Rummer, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive models of multimedia learning such as the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer 2009) or the Cognitive Load Theory (Sweller 1999) are based on different cognitive models of working memory (e.g., Baddeley 1986) and long-term memory. The current paper describes a working memory model that has recently gained popularity in basic…

  3. Working Memory Development in Monolingual and Bilingual Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morales, Julia; Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Two studies are reported comparing the performance of monolingual and bilingual children on tasks requiring different levels of working memory. In the first study, 56 5-year-olds performed a Simon-type task that manipulated working memory demands by comparing conditions based on two rules and four rules and manipulated conflict resolution demands…

  4. Updating Working Memory and Arithmetical Attainment in School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iuculano, Teresa; Moro, Raffaella; Butterworth, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Here we wished to determine how the sub-components of Working Memory (Phonological-Loop and Central Executive) influence children's arithmetical development. Specifically, we aimed at distinguishing between Working Memory inhibition and updating processes within the Central Executive, and the domain-specificity (words and numbers) of both…

  5. Preterm Infant Hippocampal Volumes Correlate with Later Working Memory Deficits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beauchamp, Miriam H.; Thompson, Deanne K.; Howard, Kelly; Doyle, Lex W.; Egan, Gary F.; Inder, Terrie E.; Anderson, Peter J.

    2008-01-01

    Children born preterm exhibit working memory deficits. These deficits may be associated with structural brain changes observed in the neonatal period. In this study, the relationship between neonatal regional brain volumes and working memory deficits at age 2 years were investigated, with a particular interest in the dorsolateral prefrontal…

  6. Taking Working Memory Training from the Laboratory into Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Working memory skills have been shown to be enhanced by adaptive training in several randomised controlled trials. Here, two field trials were conducted in which teachers administered working memory training to their own pupils in school. Twenty-two children aged 8-9?years participated in Trial 1. In Trial 2, 50 children aged 9-11?years with the…

  7. Working Memory Underpins Cognitive Development, Learning, and Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form. It facilitates planning, comprehension, reasoning, and problem solving. I examine the historical roots and conceptual development of the concept and the theoretical and practical implications of current debates about working memory mechanisms. Then, I…

  8. Working Memory Weaknesses in Students with ADHD: Implications for Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinussen, Rhonda; Major, Ashley

    2011-01-01

    Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk for academic underachievement. Children and youth with ADHD have been found to exhibit impairments on neuropsychological measures of executive functions, including working memory. Working memory is important to attentional control and learning. This article defines working…

  9. Spatial Working Memory Capacity Predicts Bias in Estimates of Location

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crawford, L. Elizabeth; Landy, David; Salthouse, Timothy A.

    2016-01-01

    Spatial memory research has attributed systematic bias in location estimates to a combination of a noisy memory trace with a prior structure that people impose on the space. Little is known about intraindividual stability and interindividual variation in these patterns of bias. In the current work, we align recent empirical and theoretical work on…

  10. Working Memory, Motivation, and Teacher-Initiated Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, David W.; Shell, Duane F.

    2006-01-01

    Working memory is where we "think" as we learn. A notion that emerges as a synthesis from several threads in the research literatures of cognition, motivation, and connectionism is that motivation in learning is the process whereby working memory resource allocation is instigated and sustained. This paper reviews much literature on motivation and…

  11. The Impact of Persistent Pain on Working Memory and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Alexander; Ayres, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The study reviewed the evidence that persistent pain has the capacity to interrupt and consume working memory resources. It was argued that individuals with persistent pain essentially operate within a compromised neurocognitive paradigm of limited working memory resources that impairs task performance. Using cognitive load theory as a theoretical…

  12. Neural Correlates of Sublexical Processing in Phonological Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGettigan, Carolyn; Warren, Jane E.; Eisner, Frank; Marshall, Chloe R.; Shanmugalingam, Pradheep; Scott, Sophie K.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated links between working memory and speech processing systems. We used delayed pseudoword repetition in fMRI to investigate the neural correlates of sublexical structure in phonological working memory (pWM). We orthogonally varied the number of syllables and consonant clusters in auditory pseudowords and measured the neural…

  13. Vocabulary and Working Memory in Children Fit with Hearing Aids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stiles, Derek J.; McGregor, Karla K.; Bentler, Ruth A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To determine whether children with mild-to-moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss (CHL) present with disturbances in working memory and whether these disturbances relate to the size of their receptive vocabularies. Method: Children 6 to 9 years of age participated. Aspects of working memory were tapped by articulation rate, forward…

  14. Working Memory and Educational Achievement in Children with Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henry, L.; Winfield, J.

    2010-01-01

    Background: There is little previous research examining whether measures of working memory are related to educational achievement in children with intellectual disabilities (ID). Methods: A battery of working memory and achievement measures was administered to 11- to 12-year-old children with ID; younger typically developing children of comparable…

  15. On the Law Relating Processing to Storage in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrouillet, Pierre; Portrat, Sophie; Camos, Valerie

    2011-01-01

    "Working memory" is usually defined in cognitive psychology as a system devoted to the simultaneous processing and maintenance of information. However, although many models of working memory have been put forward during the last decades, they often leave underspecified the dynamic interplay between processing and storage. Moreover, the account of…

  16. Working Memory and Cognitive Styles in Adolescents' Attainment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Packiam Alloway, Tracy; Banner, Gloria E.; Smith, Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Background: Working memory, the ability to store and process information, is strongly related to learning outcomes. Aims: The aim of the present study is to extend previous research on early learning and investigate the relationship between working memory, cognitive styles, and attainment in adolescents using both national curriculum tests and…

  17. Sentence Complexity and Working Memory Effects in Ambiguity Resolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Ji Hyon; Christianson, Kiel

    2013-01-01

    Two self-paced reading experiments using a paraphrase decision task paradigm were performed to investigate how sentence complexity contributed to the relative clause (RC) attachment preferences of speakers of different working memory capacities (WMCs). Experiment 1 (English) showed working memory effects on relative clause processing in both…

  18. Working Memory Capacity and Categorization: Individual Differences and Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2011-01-01

    Working memory is crucial for many higher-level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization, and…

  19. Working Memory and Fluid Intelligence in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale M. J.; Conway, Andrew R. A.; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigates how working memory and fluid intelligence are related in young children and how these links develop over time. The major aim is to determine which aspect of the working memory system--short-term storage or cognitive control--drives the relationship with fluid intelligence. A sample of 119 children was followed from…

  20. FMRI of visual working memory in high school football players.

    PubMed

    Shenk, Trey E; Robinson, Meghan E; Svaldi, Diana O; Abbas, Kausar; Breedlove, Katherine M; Leverenz, Larry J; Nauman, Eric A; Talavage, Thomas M

    2015-01-01

    Visual working memory deficits have been observed in at-risk athletes. This study uses a visual N-back working memory functional magnetic resonance imaging task to longitudinally assess asymptomatic football athletes for abnormal activity. Athletes were increasingly "flagged" as the season progressed. Flagging may provide early detection of injury. PMID:25961587

  1. Exploring Working Memory in Children with Low Arithmetical Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Amico, A.; Guarnera, M.

    2005-01-01

    This research aimed at exploring the working memory functions in children with low arithmetical achievement and normal reading, compared to age matched controls (mean age 9 years). All the children completed a series of working memory tasks, involving the central executive functions (using both linguistic and numerical material), the phonological…

  2. Escaping Capture: Bilingualism Modulates Distraction from Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernandez, Mireia; Costa, Albert; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2012-01-01

    We ask whether bilingualism aids cognitive control over the inadvertent guidance of visual attention from working memory and from bottom-up cueing. We compare highly-proficient Catalan-Spanish bilinguals with Spanish monolinguals in three visual search conditions. In the working memory (WM) condition, attention was driven in a top-down fashion by…

  3. Aging Effect on Visual and Spatial Components of Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beigneux, Katia; Plaie, Thierry; Isingrini, Michel

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of aging on the storage of visual and spatial working memory according to Logie's model of working memory (1995). In a first experiment young, elderly, and very old subjects carried out two tasks usually used to measure visual span (Visual Patterns Test) and spatial span (Corsi Block Tapping test).…

  4. Semantic transparency affects memory conjunction errors

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Mungchen; Rotello, Caren M.

    2009-01-01

    Memory conjunction errors occur when aspects of two different events are falsely recognized or recalled as having occurred as parts of the same event. One theoretical account of conjunction errors is rooted in traditional dual-process models of recognition judgments, in which responses are based on an item’s familiarity or the retrieval of recollected details associated with the encoding of that item. We manipulated the familiarity of test probes by varying their semantic overlap with studied items, taking advantage of the inherent semantic transparency of compound words. Transparent compounds are those whose component parts (lexemes) are semantically related to the meaning of the entire word. In contrast, opaque compounds’ lexemes do not contribute directly to the meaning of the compound. We showed that the familiarity of semantically transparent assembly lures created from their lexemes (study dog and house, test on doghouse) is greater than the familiarity of opaque assembly lures (study back and draw, test on drawback). A response-signal experiment revealed no evidence for the use of a recall-to-reject process for either semantically transparent or opaque lures. PMID:19966238

  5. The Influence of Acute Physical Activity on Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Zach, Sima; Shalom, Eyal

    2016-04-01

    The effect of three types of physical activity on two types of working memory were investigated. Participants were 20 adult males who trained twice a week in volleyball two hours per session. Procedures included two pre and post intervention tests of working memory: the Digit span and Visual Memory Span subtests of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised. Interventions included tactical volleyball formation, body-weight resistance exercises, 15 minutes of running, and sub-maximal aerobic activity. Volleyball activity improved memory performance to a greater extent than the other two activities. Results indicate that immediately after acute exercise there is an increase in working memory function, more evident after physical activity in which cognitive functioning is inherent. PMID:27166321

  6. The Influence of Acute Physical Activity on Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Zach, Sima; Shalom, Eyal

    2016-04-01

    The effect of three types of physical activity on two types of working memory were investigated. Participants were 20 adult males who trained twice a week in volleyball two hours per session. Procedures included two pre and post intervention tests of working memory: the Digit span and Visual Memory Span subtests of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised. Interventions included tactical volleyball formation, body-weight resistance exercises, 15 minutes of running, and sub-maximal aerobic activity. Volleyball activity improved memory performance to a greater extent than the other two activities. Results indicate that immediately after acute exercise there is an increase in working memory function, more evident after physical activity in which cognitive functioning is inherent.

  7. Hippocampal-prefrontal input supports spatial encoding in working memory.

    PubMed

    Spellman, Timothy; Rigotti, Mattia; Ahmari, Susanne E; Fusi, Stefano; Gogos, Joseph A; Gordon, Joshua A

    2015-06-18

    Spatial working memory, the caching of behaviourally relevant spatial cues on a timescale of seconds, is a fundamental constituent of cognition. Although the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are known to contribute jointly to successful spatial working memory, the anatomical pathway and temporal window for the interaction of these structures critical to spatial working memory has not yet been established. Here we find that direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferents are critical for encoding, but not for maintenance or retrieval, of spatial cues in mice. These cues are represented by the activity of individual prefrontal units in a manner that is dependent on hippocampal input only during the cue-encoding phase of a spatial working memory task. Successful encoding of these cues appears to be mediated by gamma-frequency synchrony between the two structures. These findings indicate a critical role for the direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferent pathway in the continuous updating of task-related spatial information during spatial working memory.

  8. Inhibition control and working memory capacity in children with SLI

    PubMed Central

    Marton, Klara; Kelmenson, Lyudmyla; Pinkhasova, Milana

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the “inefficient inhibition hypothesis” (IIH; Bjorklund & Harnishfeger, 1990; Wilson & Kipp, 1998) in three groups: children with specific language impairment (SLI), age-matched and language-matched controls. The IIH suggests that individuals with efficient inhibition skills perform better on working memory tasks because they are able to keep out irrelevant information from working memory. Children with SLI show processing capacity limitations. This study examined whether the working memory limitations are impacted by inhibition problems in this population. Working memory capacity was measured with a listening span task and children’s inhibition errors were categorized. These errors reflected either immediate or delayed inhibition problems and they indicated either contextual distractions or perseverations. Children with SLI produced more inhibition errors than their peers in most categories. The results show an association between inhibition control and working memory capacity, but the direction of causality is not clear. PMID:18545677

  9. Center-Surround Inhibition in Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2016-01-11

    Directing visual attention toward a particular feature or location in the environment suppresses processing of nearby stimuli [1-4]. Echoing the center-surround organization of retinal ganglion cell receptive fields [5], and biasing of competitive local neuronal dynamics in favor of task-relevant stimuli [6], this "inhibitory surround" attention mechanism accentuates the demarcation between task-relevant and irrelevant items. Here, we show that internally maintaining a color stimulus in working memory (WM), rather than visually attending the stimulus in the external environment, produces an analogous pattern of inhibition for stimuli that are nearby in color space. Replicating a well-known effect of attentional capture by stimuli that match WM content [7], visual attention was biased toward (task-irrelevant) stimuli that exactly matched a WM item. This bias was curtailed, however, for stimuli that were very similar to the WM content (i.e., within the inhibitory zone surrounding the focus of WM) and recovered for less similar stimuli (i.e., beyond the bounds of the inhibitory surround). Moreover, the expression of this inhibition effect was positively associated with WM performance across observers. In a second experiment, inhibition also occurred between two similar items simultaneously held in WM. This suggests that maintenance in WM is characterized by an excitatory peak centered on the focus of (internal) attention, surrounded by an inhibitory zone to limit interference by irrelevant and confusable representations. Here, thus, we show for the first time that the same center-surround selection mechanism that focuses visual attention on sensory stimuli also selectively maintains internally activated representations in WM.

  10. Methylphenidate does not enhance visual working memory but benefits motivation in macaque monkeys.

    PubMed

    Oemisch, Mariann; Johnston, Kevin; Paré, Martin

    2016-10-01

    Working memory is a limited-capacity cognitive process that retains relevant information temporarily to guide thoughts and behavior. A large body of work has suggested that catecholamines exert a major modulatory influence on cognition, but there is only equivocal evidence of a direct influence on working memory ability, which would be reflected in a dependence on working memory load. Here we tested the contribution of catecholamines to working memory by administering a wide range of acute oral doses of the dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor methylphenidate (MPH, 0.1-9 mg/kg) to three female macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta), whose working memory ability was measured from their performance in a visual sequential comparison task. This task allows the systematic manipulation of working memory load, and we therefore tested the specific hypothesis that MPH modulates performance in a manner that depends on both dose and memory load. We found no evidence of a dose- or memory load-dependent effect of MPH on performance. In contrast, significant effects on measures of motivation were observed. These findings suggest that an acute increase in catecholamines does not seem to affect the retention of visual information per se. As such, these results help delimit the effects of MPH on cognition. PMID:27329555

  11. Can learning disabilities be determined from working memory performance?

    PubMed

    Swanson, H L; Cochran, K F; Ewers, C A

    1990-01-01

    This study assumes that children of various academic abilities may be characterized by different patterns of memory function. To test this assumption, subgroups of children were identified through a hierarchical cluster analysis based upon a test battery of sentence span, preload, and concurrent memory demand tasks. One subtype presented a profile of children with learning disabilities showing severe memory performance deficits, while another subgroup yielded high memory and high academic performance. Four additional subtypes had variations in memory performance, which in turn reflected variations in external criteria related to reading, mathematics, and spelling performance. For each subtype, performance strengths and weaknesses were characterized within Baddeley's (1986) working memory model. The study provides partial validation for the classification of children with learning disabilities on psychometric measures according to patterns of memory performance. PMID:2295872

  12. Vagus nerve stimulation modulates visceral pain-related affective memory.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xu; Cao, Bing; Yan, Ni; Liu, Jin; Wang, Jun; Tung, Vivian Oi Vian; Li, Ying

    2013-01-01

    Within a biopsychosocial model of pain, pain is seen as a conscious experience modulated by mental, emotional and sensory mechanisms. Recently, using a rodent visceral pain assay that combines the colorectal distension (CRD) model with the conditioned place avoidance (CPA) paradigms, we measured a learned behavior that directly reflects the affective component of visceral pain, and showed that perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) activation is critical for memory processing involved in long-term visceral affective state and prediction of aversive stimuli by contextual cue. Electrical vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has become an established therapy for treatment-resistant epilepsy. VNS has also been shown to enhance memory performance in rats and humans. High-intensity VNS (400 μA) immediately following conditional training significantly increases the CRD-induced CPA scores, and enhanced the pain affective memory retention. In contrast, VNS (400 μA) had no effect on CPA induced by non-nociceptive aversive stimulus (U69,593). Low-intensity VNS (40 μA) had no effect on CRD-induced CPA. Electrophysiological recording showed that VNS (400 μA) had no effect on basal and CRD-induced ACC neuronal firing. Further, VNS did not alter CRD-induced visceral pain responses suggesting high intensity VNS facilitates visceral pain aversive memory independent of sensory discriminative aspects of visceral pain processing. The findings that vagus nerve stimulation facilities visceral pain-related affective memory underscore the importance of memory in visceral pain perception, and support the theory that postprandial factors may act on vagal afferents to modulate ongoing nature of visceral pain-induced affective disorder observed in the clinic, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

  13. Working memory resources are shared across sensory modalities.

    PubMed

    Salmela, V R; Moisala, M; Alho, K

    2014-10-01

    A common assumption in the working memory literature is that the visual and auditory modalities have separate and independent memory stores. Recent evidence on visual working memory has suggested that resources are shared between representations, and that the precision of representations sets the limit for memory performance. We tested whether memory resources are also shared across sensory modalities. Memory precision for two visual (spatial frequency and orientation) and two auditory (pitch and tone duration) features was measured separately for each feature and for all possible feature combinations. Thus, only the memory load was varied, from one to four features, while keeping the stimuli similar. In Experiment 1, two gratings and two tones-both containing two varying features-were presented simultaneously. In Experiment 2, two gratings and two tones-each containing only one varying feature-were presented sequentially. The memory precision (delayed discrimination threshold) for a single feature was close to the perceptual threshold. However, as the number of features to be remembered was increased, the discrimination thresholds increased more than twofold. Importantly, the decrease in memory precision did not depend on the modality of the other feature(s), or on whether the features were in the same or in separate objects. Hence, simultaneously storing one visual and one auditory feature had an effect on memory precision equal to those of simultaneously storing two visual or two auditory features. The results show that working memory is limited by the precision of the stored representations, and that working memory can be described as a resource pool that is shared across modalities.

  14. Working memory resources are shared across sensory modalities.

    PubMed

    Salmela, V R; Moisala, M; Alho, K

    2014-10-01

    A common assumption in the working memory literature is that the visual and auditory modalities have separate and independent memory stores. Recent evidence on visual working memory has suggested that resources are shared between representations, and that the precision of representations sets the limit for memory performance. We tested whether memory resources are also shared across sensory modalities. Memory precision for two visual (spatial frequency and orientation) and two auditory (pitch and tone duration) features was measured separately for each feature and for all possible feature combinations. Thus, only the memory load was varied, from one to four features, while keeping the stimuli similar. In Experiment 1, two gratings and two tones-both containing two varying features-were presented simultaneously. In Experiment 2, two gratings and two tones-each containing only one varying feature-were presented sequentially. The memory precision (delayed discrimination threshold) for a single feature was close to the perceptual threshold. However, as the number of features to be remembered was increased, the discrimination thresholds increased more than twofold. Importantly, the decrease in memory precision did not depend on the modality of the other feature(s), or on whether the features were in the same or in separate objects. Hence, simultaneously storing one visual and one auditory feature had an effect on memory precision equal to those of simultaneously storing two visual or two auditory features. The results show that working memory is limited by the precision of the stored representations, and that working memory can be described as a resource pool that is shared across modalities. PMID:24935809

  15. Media multitasking and memory: Differences in working memory and long-term memory.

    PubMed

    Uncapher, Melina R; K Thieu, Monica; Wagner, Anthony D

    2016-04-01

    Increasing access to media in the 21st century has led to a rapid rise in the prevalence of media multitasking (simultaneous use of multiple media streams). Such behavior is associated with various cognitive differences, such as difficulty filtering distracting information and increased trait impulsivity. Given the rise in media multitasking by children, adolescents, and adults, a full understanding of the cognitive profile of media multitaskers is imperative. Here we investigated the relationship between chronic media multitasking and working memory (WM) and long-term memory (LTM) performance. Four key findings are reported (1) heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) exhibited lower WM performance, regardless of whether external distraction was present or absent; (2) lower performance on multiple WM tasks predicted lower LTM performance; (3) media multitasking-related differences in memory reflected differences in discriminability rather than decision bias; and (4) attentional impulsivity correlated with media multitasking behavior and reduced WM performance. These findings suggest that chronic media multitasking is associated with a wider attentional scope/higher attentional impulsivity, which may allow goal-irrelevant information to compete with goal-relevant information. As a consequence, heavy media multitaskers are able to hold fewer or less precise goal-relevant representations in WM. HMMs' wider attentional scope, combined with their diminished WM performance, propagates forward to yield lower LTM performance. As such, chronic media multitasking is associated with a reduced ability to draw on the past--be it very recent or more remote--to inform present behavior.

  16. Media multitasking and memory: Differences in working memory and long-term memory.

    PubMed

    Uncapher, Melina R; K Thieu, Monica; Wagner, Anthony D

    2016-04-01

    Increasing access to media in the 21st century has led to a rapid rise in the prevalence of media multitasking (simultaneous use of multiple media streams). Such behavior is associated with various cognitive differences, such as difficulty filtering distracting information and increased trait impulsivity. Given the rise in media multitasking by children, adolescents, and adults, a full understanding of the cognitive profile of media multitaskers is imperative. Here we investigated the relationship between chronic media multitasking and working memory (WM) and long-term memory (LTM) performance. Four key findings are reported (1) heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) exhibited lower WM performance, regardless of whether external distraction was present or absent; (2) lower performance on multiple WM tasks predicted lower LTM performance; (3) media multitasking-related differences in memory reflected differences in discriminability rather than decision bias; and (4) attentional impulsivity correlated with media multitasking behavior and reduced WM performance. These findings suggest that chronic media multitasking is associated with a wider attentional scope/higher attentional impulsivity, which may allow goal-irrelevant information to compete with goal-relevant information. As a consequence, heavy media multitaskers are able to hold fewer or less precise goal-relevant representations in WM. HMMs' wider attentional scope, combined with their diminished WM performance, propagates forward to yield lower LTM performance. As such, chronic media multitasking is associated with a reduced ability to draw on the past--be it very recent or more remote--to inform present behavior. PMID:26223469

  17. Working Memory Training and the Effect on Mathematical Achievement in Children with Attention Deficits and Special Needs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dahlin, Karin I. E.

    2013-01-01

    Working Memory (WM) has a central role in learning. It is suggested to be malleable and is considered necessary for several aspects of mathematical functioning. This study investigated whether work with an interactive computerised working memory training programme at school could affect the mathematical performance of young children. Fifty-seven…

  18. Levels of processing and language modality specificity in working memory.

    PubMed

    Rudner, Mary; Karlsson, Thomas; Gunnarsson, Johan; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2013-03-01

    Neural networks underpinning working memory demonstrate sign language specific components possibly related to differences in temporary storage mechanisms. A processing approach to memory systems suggests that the organisation of memory storage is related to type of memory processing as well. In the present study, we investigated for the first time semantic, phonological and orthographic processing in working memory for sign- and speech-based language. During fMRI we administered a picture-based 2-back working memory task with Semantic, Phonological, Orthographic and Baseline conditions to 11 deaf signers and 20 hearing non-signers. Behavioural data showed poorer and slower performance for both groups in Phonological and Orthographic conditions than in the Semantic condition, in line with depth-of-processing theory. An exclusive masking procedure revealed distinct sign-specific neural networks supporting working memory components at all three levels of processing. The overall pattern of sign-specific activations may reflect a relative intermodality difference in the relationship between phonology and semantics influencing working memory storage and processing. PMID:23287569

  19. Flexibility of representational states in working memory.

    PubMed

    Zokaei, Nahid; Ning, Shen; Manohar, Sanjay; Feredoes, Eva; Husain, Masud

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between working memory (WM) and attention is a highly interdependent one, with evidence that attention determines the state in which items in WM are retained. Through focusing of attention, an item might be held in a more prioritized state, commonly termed as the focus of attention (FOA). The remaining items, although still retrievable, are considered to be in a different representational state. One means to bring an item into the FOA is to use retrospective cues ("retro-cues") which direct attention to one of the objects retained in WM. Alternatively, an item can enter a privileged state once attention is directed towards it through bottom-up influences (e.g., recency effect) or by performing an action on one of the retained items ("incidental" cueing). In all these cases, the item in the FOA is recalled with better accuracy compared to the other items in WM. Far less is known about the nature of the other items in WM and whether they can be flexibly manipulated in and out of the FOA. We present data from three types of experiments as well as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to early visual cortex to manipulate the item inside FOA. Taken together, our results suggest that the context in which items are retained in WM matters. When an item remains behaviorally relevant, despite not being inside the FOA, re-focusing attention upon it can increase its recall precision. This suggests that a non-FOA item can be held in a state in which it can be later retrieved. However, if an item is rendered behaviorally unimportant because it is very unlikely to be probed, it cannot be brought back into the FOA, nor recalled with high precision. Under such conditions, some information appears to be irretrievably lost from WM. These findings, obtained from several different methods, demonstrate quite considerable flexibility with which items in WM can be represented depending upon context. They have important consequences for emerging state-dependent models of

  20. Developmental Differences in Prefrontal Activation during Working Memory Maintenance and Manipulation for Different Memory Loads

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jolles, Dietsje D.; Kleibeuker, Sietske W.; Rombouts, Serge A. R. B.; Crone, Eveline A.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to keep information active in working memory is one of the cornerstones of cognitive development. Prior studies have demonstrated that regions which are important for working memory performance in adults, such as dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), and superior parietal cortex, become…

  1. Directed forgetting and directed remembering in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Williams, Melonie; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2012-09-01

    A defining characteristic of visual working memory is its limited capacity. This means that it is crucial to maintain only the most relevant information in visual working memory. However, empirical research is mixed as to whether it is possible to selectively maintain a subset of the information previously encoded into visual working memory. Here we examined the ability of participants to use cues to either forget or remember a subset of the information already stored in visual working memory. In Experiment 1, participants were cued to either forget or remember 1 of 2 groups of colored squares during a change-detection task. We found that both types of cues aided performance in the visual working memory task but that observers benefited more from a cue to remember than a cue to forget a subset of the objects. In Experiment 2, we show that the previous findings, which indicated that directed-forgetting cues are ineffective, were likely due to the presence of invalid cues that appeared to cause observers to disregard such cues as unreliable. In Experiment 3, we recorded event-related potentials and show that an electrophysiological index of focused maintenance is elicited by cues that indicate which subset of information in visual working memory needs to be remembered, ruling out alternative explanations of the behavioral effects of retention-interval cues. The present findings demonstrate that observers can focus maintenance mechanisms on specific objects in visual working memory based on cues indicating future task relevance. PMID:22409182

  2. Worrying Thoughts Limit Working Memory Capacity in Math Anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Zhan; Liu, Peiru

    2016-01-01

    Sixty-one high-math-anxious persons and sixty-one low-math-anxious persons completed a modified working memory capacity task, designed to measure working memory capacity under a dysfunctional math-related context and working memory capacity under a valence-neutral context. Participants were required to perform simple tasks with emotionally benign material (i.e., lists of letters) over short intervals while simultaneously reading and making judgments about sentences describing dysfunctional math-related thoughts or sentences describing emotionally-neutral facts about the world. Working memory capacity for letters under the dysfunctional math-related context, relative to working memory capacity performance under the valence-neutral context, was poorer overall in the high-math-anxious group compared with the low-math-anxious group. The findings show a particular difficulty employing working memory in math-related contexts in high-math-anxious participants. Theories that can provide reasonable interpretations for these findings and interventions that can reduce anxiety-induced worrying intrusive thoughts or improve working memory capacity for math anxiety are discussed. PMID:27788235

  3. Role of Prefrontal Persistent Activity in Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Riley, Mitchell R.; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is activated during working memory, as evidenced by fMRI results in human studies and neurophysiological recordings in animal models. Persistent activity during the delay period of working memory tasks, after the offset of stimuli that subjects are required to remember, has traditionally been thought of as the neural correlate of working memory. In the last few years several findings have cast doubt on the role of this activity. By some accounts, activity in other brain areas, such as the primary visual and posterior parietal cortex, is a better predictor of information maintained in visual working memory and working memory performance; dynamic patterns of activity may convey information without requiring persistent activity at all; and prefrontal neurons may be ill-suited to represent non-spatial information about the features and identity of remembered stimuli. Alternative interpretations about the role of the prefrontal cortex have thus been suggested, such as that it provides a top-down control of information represented in other brain areas, rather than maintaining a working memory trace itself. Here we review evidence for and against the role of prefrontal persistent activity, with a focus on visual neurophysiology. We show that persistent activity predicts behavioral parameters precisely in working memory tasks. We illustrate that prefrontal cortex represents features of stimuli other than their spatial location, and that this information is largely absent from early cortical areas during working memory. We examine memory models not dependent on persistent activity, and conclude that each of those models could mediate only a limited range of memory-dependent behaviors. We review activity decoded from brain areas other than the prefrontal cortex during working memory and demonstrate that these areas alone cannot mediate working memory maintenance, particularly in the presence of distractors. We finally discuss the discrepancy between

  4. Cognitive control in context: working memory capacity and proactive control.

    PubMed

    Redick, Thomas S

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is important for maintaining critical information in an active state to guide future behavior. The executive-attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC; Engle & Kane, 2004) argues that goal maintenance is important for response selection when stimuli are associated with competing responses. Braver, Burgess, and Gray (2007) have labeled this type of preparatory activity proactive control. Previous WMC studies have not allowed individuals to use goal information to prepare a specific response in advance of the stimulus. The current experiment used different versions of a cue-probe task to examine the relationship between individual differences in WMC and proactive control. Across three versions of the AX version of the Continuous Performance Test, the proportion of targets was manipulated to affect both the predictive validity of the A cue and the prepotency of the target response to X probes. The results indicated that the high-WMC individuals used the cue information to prepare responses in advance only when a specific probe was likely to occur. In contrast, the performance of the low-WMC individuals was less dependent upon the cue and more contingent upon overall response frequencies. The results indicate that individual differences in WMC are related to proactive control and anticipation, and important for translating cognition into action. PMID:24240136

  5. Time-dependent corticosteroid modulation of prefrontal working memory processing

    PubMed Central

    Henckens, Marloes J. A. G.; van Wingen, Guido A.; Joëls, Marian; Fernández, Guillén

    2011-01-01

    Corticosteroids are potent modulators of human higher cognitive function. They are released in response to stress, and are thought to be involved in the modulation of cognitive function by inducing distinct rapid nongenomic, and slow genomic changes, affecting neural plasticity throughout the brain. However, their exact effects on the neural correlates of higher-order cognitive function as performed by the prefrontal cortex at the human brain system level remain to be elucidated. Here, we targeted these time-dependent effects of corticosteroids on prefrontal cortex processing in humans using a working memory (WM) paradigm during functional MRI scanning. Implementing a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 72 young, healthy men received 10 mg hydrocortisone either 30 min (rapid corticosteroid effects) or 240 min (slow corticosteroid effects), or placebo before a numerical n-back task with differential load (0- to 3-back). Corticosteroids’ slow effects appeared to improve working memory performance and increased neuronal activity during WM performance in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex depending on WM load, whereas no effects of corticosteroids’ rapid actions were observed. Thereby, the slow actions of corticosteroids seem to facilitate adequate higher-order cognitive functioning, which may support recovery in the aftermath of stress exposure. PMID:21436038

  6. Binding biological motion and visual features in working memory.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiaowei; Zhao, Yangfan; Wu, Fan; Lu, Xiqian; Gao, Zaifeng; Shen, Mowei

    2015-06-01

    Working memory mechanisms for binding have been examined extensively in the last decade, yet few studies have explored bindings relating to human biological motion (BM). Human BM is the most salient and biologically significant kinetic information encountered in everyday life and is stored independently from other visual features (e.g., colors). The current study explored 3 critical issues of BM-related binding in working memory: (a) how many BM binding units can be retained in working memory, (b) whether involuntarily object-based binding occurs during BM binding, and (c) whether the maintenance of BM bindings in working memory requires attention above and beyond that needed to maintain the constituent dimensions. We isolated motion signals of human BM from non-BM sources by using point-light displays as to-be-memorized BM and presented the participants colored BM in a change detection task. We found that working memory capacity for BM-color bindings is rather low; only 1 or 2 BM-color bindings could be retained in working memory regardless of the presentation manners (Experiments 1-3). Furthermore, no object-based encoding took place for colored BM stimuli regardless of the processed dimensions (Experiments 4 and 5). Central executive attention contributes to the maintenance of BM-color bindings, yet maintaining BM bindings in working memory did not require more central attention than did maintaining the constituent dimensions in working memory (Experiment 6). Overall, these results suggest that keeping BM bindings in working memory is a fairly resource-demanding process, yet central executive attention does not play a special role in this cross-module binding.

  7. Binding biological motion and visual features in working memory.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiaowei; Zhao, Yangfan; Wu, Fan; Lu, Xiqian; Gao, Zaifeng; Shen, Mowei

    2015-06-01

    Working memory mechanisms for binding have been examined extensively in the last decade, yet few studies have explored bindings relating to human biological motion (BM). Human BM is the most salient and biologically significant kinetic information encountered in everyday life and is stored independently from other visual features (e.g., colors). The current study explored 3 critical issues of BM-related binding in working memory: (a) how many BM binding units can be retained in working memory, (b) whether involuntarily object-based binding occurs during BM binding, and (c) whether the maintenance of BM bindings in working memory requires attention above and beyond that needed to maintain the constituent dimensions. We isolated motion signals of human BM from non-BM sources by using point-light displays as to-be-memorized BM and presented the participants colored BM in a change detection task. We found that working memory capacity for BM-color bindings is rather low; only 1 or 2 BM-color bindings could be retained in working memory regardless of the presentation manners (Experiments 1-3). Furthermore, no object-based encoding took place for colored BM stimuli regardless of the processed dimensions (Experiments 4 and 5). Central executive attention contributes to the maintenance of BM-color bindings, yet maintaining BM bindings in working memory did not require more central attention than did maintaining the constituent dimensions in working memory (Experiment 6). Overall, these results suggest that keeping BM bindings in working memory is a fairly resource-demanding process, yet central executive attention does not play a special role in this cross-module binding. PMID:25893683

  8. How Do Observer's Responses Affect Visual Long-Term Memory?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Makovski, Tal; Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.

    2013-01-01

    How does responding to an object affect explicit memory for visual information? The close theoretical relationship between action and perception suggests that items that require a response should be better remembered than items that require no response. However, conclusive evidence for this claim is lacking, as semantic coherence, category size,…

  9. Collective Biography and Memory Work: Girls Reading Fiction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gannon, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Collective biography draws on memory work methods developed initially by feminist sociologists (Haug et al., 1987) where people collaboratively examined the social and discursive resources through which they take themselves up as particular gendered subjects in the world. Their own memories become resources to investigate processes of…

  10. Forgetting from Working Memory: Does Novelty Encoding Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plancher, Gaen; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    The sources of forgetting in working memory remain the matter of intense debate. According to the SOB model (serial order in a box; Farrell & Lewandowsky, 2002), forgetting in complex span tasks does not result from temporal decay but from interference produced by the encoding of distractors that are superimposed over memory items onto a composite…

  11. Prefrontal Control of Familiarity and Recollection in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feredoes, Eva; Postle, Bradley R.

    2010-01-01

    Left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) is a critical neural substrate for the resolution of proactive interference (PI) in working memory. We hypothesized that left IFG achieves this by controlling the influence of familiarity- versus recollection-based information about memory probes. Consistent with this idea, we observed evidence for an "early" (200…

  12. An Ideal Observer Analysis of Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sims, Chris R.; Jacobs, Robert A.; Knill, David C.

    2012-01-01

    Limits in visual working memory (VWM) strongly constrain human performance across many tasks. However, the nature of these limits is not well understood. In this article we develop an ideal observer analysis of human VWM by deriving the expected behavior of an optimally performing but limited-capacity memory system. This analysis is framed around…

  13. Dynamic Search and Working Memory in Social Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hills, Thomas T.; Pachur, Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    What are the mechanisms underlying search in social memory (e.g., remembering the people one knows)? Do the search mechanisms involve dynamic local-to-global transitions similar to semantic search, and are these transitions governed by the general control of attention, associated with working memory span? To find out, we asked participants to…

  14. Developmental Differences in Working Memory: Where Do They Come from?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaillard, Vinciane; Barrouillet, Pierre; Jarrold, Christopher; Camos, Valerie

    2011-01-01

    Several models assume that working memory development depends on age-related increases in efficiency and speed of processing. However, age-related increases in the efficiency of the mechanisms that counteract forgetting and restore memory traces may also be important. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments by manipulating both the…

  15. Trade-Offs between Gaze and Working Memory Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Droll, Jason A.; Hayhoe, Mary M.

    2007-01-01

    Eye movements during natural tasks suggest that observers do not use working memory to capacity but instead use eye movements to acquire relevant information immediately before needed. Results here however, show that this strategy is sensitive to memory load and to observers' expectations about what information will be relevant. Depending upon the…

  16. A Metacognitive Visuospatial Working Memory Training for Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caviola, Sara; Mammarella, Irene C.; Cornoldi, Cesare; Lucangeli, Daniela

    2009-01-01

    The paper studies whether visuospatial working memory (VSWM) and, specifically, recall of sequential-spatial information, can be improved by metacognitive training. Twenty-two fourth-grade children were involved in seven sessions of sequential-spatial memory training, while twenty-four children attended lessons given by their teacher. The…

  17. Working Memory and Intelligence in Children: What Develops?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee

    2008-01-01

    This study explored the contribution of the phonological and executive working memory (WM) systems to 205 (102 girls, 103 boys, 6 to 9 years old) elementary school children's fluid and crystallized intelligence. The results show that (a) a 3-factor structure (phonological short-term memory [STM], visual-spatial WM, and verbal WM) was comparable…

  18. Automatic Guidance of Visual Attention from Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soto, David; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2007-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that visual attention can be captured by stimuli matching the contents of working memory (WM). Here, the authors assessed the nature of the representation that mediates the guidance of visual attention from WM. Observers were presented with either verbal or visual primes (to hold in memory, Experiment 1; to verbalize,…

  19. Deficits in Working Memory in Young Adults with Reading Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen-Mimran, Ravit; Sapir, Shimon

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to assess the extent to which reading disabilities (RD) in young adults are related to deficits in specific aspects of temporary storage of verbal information, namely, memory span and the central executive (CE) component of working memory. Thirty-two native Hebrew-speaking young adults with and without RD were…

  20. The Dynamics of Access to Groups in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrell, Simon; Lelievre, Anna

    2012-01-01

    The finding that participants leave a pause between groups when attempting serial recall of temporally grouped lists has been taken to indicate access to a hierarchical representation of the list in working memory. An alternative explanation is that the dynamics of serial recall solely reflect output (rather than memorial) processes, with the…

  1. The role of working memory in carrying and borrowing.

    PubMed

    Imbo, Ineke; Vandierendonck, André; Vergauwe, Evie

    2007-07-01

    The present study analyzed the role of phonological and executive components of working memory in the borrow operation in complex subtractions (Experiments 1 and 2) and in the carry operation in complex multiplications (Experiments 3 and 4). The number of carry and borrow operations as well as the value of the carry were manipulated. Results indicated that both the number of carry/borrow operations and the value of the carry increased problem difficulty, resulting in higher reliance on phonological and executive working-memory components. Present results are compared with those obtained for the carry operation in complex addition and are further discussed in the broader framework of working-memory functions.

  2. Working memory delay activity predicts individual differences in cognitive abilities.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Nash; Fukuda, Keisuke; Awh, Edward; Vogel, Edward K

    2015-05-01

    A great deal of prior research has examined the relation between estimates of working memory and cognitive abilities. Yet, the neural mechanisms that account for these relations are still not very well understood. The current study explored whether individual differences in working memory delay activity would be a significant predictor of cognitive abilities. A large number of participants performed multiple measures of capacity, attention control, long-term memory, working memory span, and fluid intelligence, and latent variable analyses were used to examine the data. During two working memory change detection tasks, we acquired EEG data and examined the contralateral delay activity. The results demonstrated that the contralateral delay activity was significantly related to cognitive abilities, and importantly these relations were because of individual differences in both capacity and attention control. These results suggest that individual differences in working memory delay activity predict individual differences in a broad range of cognitive abilities, and this is because of both differences in the number of items that can be maintained and the ability to control access to working memory. PMID:25436671

  3. Working Memory Delay Activity Predicts Individual Differences in Cognitive Abilities

    PubMed Central

    Unsworth, Nash; Fukuda, Keisuke; Awh, Edward; Vogel, Edward K.

    2015-01-01

    A great deal of prior research has examined the relation between estimates of working memory and cognitive abilities. Yet, the neural mechanisms that account for these relations are still not very well understood. The current study explored whether individual differences in working memory delay activity would be a significant predictor of cognitive abilities. A large number of participants performed multiple measures of capacity, attention control, long-term memory, working memory span, and fluid intelligence, and latent variable analyses were used to examine the data. During two working memory change detection tasks, we acquired EEG data and examined the contra-lateral delay activity. The results demonstrated that the contralateral delay activity was significantly related to cognitive abilities, and importantly these relations were because of individual differences in both capacity and attention control. These results suggest that individual differences in working memory delay activity predict individual differences in a broad range of cognitive abilities, and this is because of both differences in the number of items that can be maintained and the ability to control access to working memory. PMID:25436671

  4. A Working Memory System With Distributed Executive Control.

    PubMed

    Vandierendonck, André

    2016-01-01

    Working memory consists of domain-specific storage facilities and domain-general executive control processes. In some working memory theories, these control processes are accounted for via a homunculus, the central executive. In the present article, the author defends a mechanistic view of executive control by adopting the position that executive control is situated in the context of goal-directed behavior to maintain and protect the goal and to select an action to attain the goal. On the basis of findings in task switching and dual tasking, he proposes an adapted multicomponent working memory model in which the central executive is replaced by three interacting components: an executive memory that maintains the task set, a collection of acquired procedural rules, and an engine that executes the procedural rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents. The strongest among the rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents is applied, resulting in changes of the working memory contents or in motor actions. According to this model, goals are attained when the route to the goals is known or can be searched when the route is unknown (problem solving). Empirical evidence for this proposal and new predictions are discussed.

  5. Music training and working memory: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    George, Elyse M; Coch, Donna

    2011-04-01

    While previous research has suggested that music training is associated with improvements in various cognitive and linguistic skills, the mechanisms mediating or underlying these associations are mostly unknown. Here, we addressed the hypothesis that previous music training is related to improved working memory. Using event-related potentials (ERPs) and a standardized test of working memory, we investigated both neural and behavioral aspects of working memory in college-aged, non-professional musicians and non-musicians. Behaviorally, musicians outperformed non-musicians on standardized subtests of visual, phonological, and executive memory. ERPs were recorded in standard auditory and visual oddball paradigms (participants responded to infrequent deviant stimuli embedded in lists of standard stimuli). Electrophysiologically, musicians demonstrated faster updating of working memory (shorter latency P300s) in both the auditory and visual domains and musicians allocated more neural resources to auditory stimuli (larger amplitude P300), showing increased sensitivity to the auditory standard/deviant difference and less effortful updating of auditory working memory. These findings demonstrate that long-term music training is related to improvements in working memory, in both the auditory and visual domains and in terms of both behavioral and ERP measures.

  6. Age-related differences in updating working memory.

    PubMed

    Van der Linden, M; Brédart, S; Beerten, A

    1994-02-01

    Age-related differences in updating working memory were investigated in two experiments using a running memory task. In the first experiment, the task of the young and elderly subjects was to watch strings of four to 10 consonants and then to recall serially the four most recent items. Results revealed no age effect. A second experiment was then carried out using a memory load that was close to memory span: lists of six to 12 consonants were presented and subjects had to recall the last six items. Age interacted with list length but not with serial position. This dissociation is discussed in terms of Baddeley's (1986) model.

  7. The sensory components of high-capacity iconic memory and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Claire; Pearson, Joel

    2012-01-01

    EARLY VISUAL MEMORY CAN BE SPLIT INTO TWO PRIMARY COMPONENTS: a high-capacity, short-lived iconic memory followed by a limited-capacity visual working memory that can last many seconds. Whereas a large number of studies have investigated visual working memory for low-level sensory features, much research on iconic memory has used more "high-level" alphanumeric stimuli such as letters or numbers. These two forms of memory are typically examined separately, despite an intrinsic overlap in their characteristics. Here, we used a purely sensory paradigm to examine visual short-term memory for 10 homogeneous items of three different visual features (color, orientation and motion) across a range of durations from 0 to 6 s. We found that the amount of information stored in iconic memory is smaller for motion than for color or orientation. Performance declined exponentially with longer storage durations and reached chance levels after ∼2 s. Further experiments showed that performance for the 10 items at 1 s was contingent on unperturbed attentional resources. In addition, for orientation stimuli, performance was contingent on the location of stimuli in the visual field, especially for short cue delays. Overall, our results suggest a smooth transition between an automatic, high-capacity, feature-specific sensory-iconic memory, and an effortful "lower-capacity" visual working memory.

  8. Factors affecting graded and ungraded memory loss following hippocampal lesions.

    PubMed

    Winocur, Gordon; Moscovitch, Morris; Sekeres, Melanie J

    2013-11-01

    This review evaluates three current theories--Standard Consolidation (Squire & Wixted, 2011), Overshadowing (Sutherland, Sparks, & Lehmann, 2010), and Multiple Trace-Transformation (Winocur, Moscovitch, & Bontempi, 2010)--in terms of their ability to account for the role of the hippocampus in recent and remote memory in animals. Evidence, based on consistent findings from tests of spatial memory and memory for acquired food preferences, favours the transformation account, but this conclusion is undermined by inconsistent results from studies that measured contextual fear memory, probably the most commonly used test of hippocampal involvement in anterograde and retrograde memory. Resolution of this issue may depend on exercising greater control over critical factors (e.g., contextual environment, amount of pre-exposure to the conditioning chamber, the number and distribution of foot-shocks) that can affect the representation of the memory shortly after learning and over the long-term. Research strategies aimed at characterizing the neural basis of long-term consolidation/transformation, as well as other outstanding issues are discussed. PMID:24120426

  9. Factors affecting graded and ungraded memory loss following hippocampal lesions.

    PubMed

    Winocur, Gordon; Moscovitch, Morris; Sekeres, Melanie J

    2013-11-01

    This review evaluates three current theories--Standard Consolidation (Squire & Wixted, 2011), Overshadowing (Sutherland, Sparks, & Lehmann, 2010), and Multiple Trace-Transformation (Winocur, Moscovitch, & Bontempi, 2010)--in terms of their ability to account for the role of the hippocampus in recent and remote memory in animals. Evidence, based on consistent findings from tests of spatial memory and memory for acquired food preferences, favours the transformation account, but this conclusion is undermined by inconsistent results from studies that measured contextual fear memory, probably the most commonly used test of hippocampal involvement in anterograde and retrograde memory. Resolution of this issue may depend on exercising greater control over critical factors (e.g., contextual environment, amount of pre-exposure to the conditioning chamber, the number and distribution of foot-shocks) that can affect the representation of the memory shortly after learning and over the long-term. Research strategies aimed at characterizing the neural basis of long-term consolidation/transformation, as well as other outstanding issues are discussed.

  10. Neural Anatomy of Primary Visual Cortex Limits Visual Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Johanna; Genç, Erhan; Kohler, Axel; Singer, Wolf; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Despite the immense processing power of the human brain, working memory storage is severely limited, and the neuroanatomical basis of these limitations has remained elusive. Here, we show that the stable storage limits of visual working memory for over 9 s are bound by the precise gray matter volume of primary visual cortex (V1), defined by fMRI retinotopic mapping. Individuals with a bigger V1 tended to have greater visual working memory storage. This relationship was present independently for both surface size and thickness of V1 but absent in V2, V3 and for non-visual working memory measures. Additional whole-brain analyses confirmed the specificity of the relationship to V1. Our findings indicate that the size of primary visual cortex plays a critical role in limiting what we can hold in mind, acting like a gatekeeper in constraining the richness of working mental function.

  11. Sleep deprivation affects extinction but not acquisition memory in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Hussaini, Syed Abid; Bogusch, Lisa; Landgraf, Tim; Menzel, Randolf

    2009-11-01

    Sleep-like behavior has been studied in honeybees before, but the relationship between sleep and memory formation has not been explored. Here we describe a new approach to address the question if sleep in bees, like in other animals, improves memory consolidation. Restrained bees were observed by a web camera, and their antennal activities were used as indicators of sleep. We found that the bees sleep more during the dark phase of the day compared with the light phase. Sleep phases were characterized by two distinct patterns of antennal activities: symmetrical activity, more prominent during the dark phase; and asymmetrical activity, more common during the light phase. Sleep-deprived bees showed rebound the following day, confirming effective deprivation of sleep. After appetitive conditioning of the bees to various olfactory stimuli, we observed their sleep. Bees conditioned to odor with sugar reward showed lesser sleep compared with bees that were exposed to either reward alone or air alone. Next, we asked whether sleep deprivation affects memory consolidation. While sleep deprivation had no effect on retention scores after odor acquisition, retention for extinction learning was significantly reduced, indicating that consolidation of extinction memory but not acquisition memory was affected by sleep deprivation.

  12. Sleep deprivation affects extinction but not acquisition memory in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Hussaini, Syed Abid; Bogusch, Lisa; Landgraf, Tim; Menzel, Randolf

    2009-11-01

    Sleep-like behavior has been studied in honeybees before, but the relationship between sleep and memory formation has not been explored. Here we describe a new approach to address the question if sleep in bees, like in other animals, improves memory consolidation. Restrained bees were observed by a web camera, and their antennal activities were used as indicators of sleep. We found that the bees sleep more during the dark phase of the day compared with the light phase. Sleep phases were characterized by two distinct patterns of antennal activities: symmetrical activity, more prominent during the dark phase; and asymmetrical activity, more common during the light phase. Sleep-deprived bees showed rebound the following day, confirming effective deprivation of sleep. After appetitive conditioning of the bees to various olfactory stimuli, we observed their sleep. Bees conditioned to odor with sugar reward showed lesser sleep compared with bees that were exposed to either reward alone or air alone. Next, we asked whether sleep deprivation affects memory consolidation. While sleep deprivation had no effect on retention scores after odor acquisition, retention for extinction learning was significantly reduced, indicating that consolidation of extinction memory but not acquisition memory was affected by sleep deprivation. PMID:19864296

  13. Development and psychometric validation of the verbal affective memory test.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Christian G; Hjordt, Liv V; Stenbæk, Dea S; Andersen, Emil; Back, Silja K; Lansner, Jon; Hageman, Ida; Dam, Henrik; Nielsen, Anna P; Knudsen, Gitte M; Frokjaer, Vibe G; Hasselbalch, Steen G

    2016-10-01

    We here present the development and validation of the Verbal Affective Memory Test-24 (VAMT-24). First, we ensured face validity by selecting 24 words reliably perceived as positive, negative or neutral, respectively, according to healthy Danish adults' valence ratings of 210 common and non-taboo words. Second, we studied the test's psychometric properties in healthy adults. Finally, we investigated whether individuals diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) differed from healthy controls on seasonal changes in affective recall. Recall rates were internally consistent and reliable and converged satisfactorily with established non-affective verbal tests. Immediate recall (IMR) for positive words exceeded IMR for negative words in the healthy sample. Relatedly, individuals with SAD showed a significantly larger decrease in positive recall from summer to winter than healthy controls. Furthermore, larger seasonal decreases in positive recall significantly predicted larger increases in depressive symptoms. Retest reliability was satisfactory, rs ≥ .77. In conclusion, VAMT-24 is more thoroughly developed and validated than existing verbal affective memory tests and showed satisfactory psychometric properties. VAMT-24 seems especially sensitive to measuring positive verbal recall bias, perhaps due to the application of common, non-taboo words. Based on the psychometric and clinical results, we recommend VAMT-24 for international translations and studies of affective memory.

  14. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, working memory and episodic memory processes: insight through transcranial magnetic stimulation techniques.

    PubMed

    Balconi, Michela

    2013-06-01

    The ability to recall and recognize facts we experienced in the past is based on a complex mechanism in which several cerebral regions are implicated. Neuroimaging and lesion studies agree in identifying the frontal lobe as a crucial structure for memory processes, and in particular for working memory and episodic memory and their relationships. Furthermore, with the introduction of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) a new way was proposed to investigate the relationships between brain correlates, memory functions and behavior. The aim of this review is to present the main findings that have emerged from experiments which used the TMS technique for memory analysis. They mainly focused on the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in memory process. Furthermore, we present state-of-the-art evidence supporting a possible use of TMS in the clinic. Specifically we focus on the treatment of memory deficits in depression and anxiety disorders. PMID:23385388

  15. Working memory mechanism in proportional quantifier verification.

    PubMed

    Zajenkowski, Marcin; Szymanik, Jakub; Garraffa, Maria

    2014-12-01

    The paper explores the cognitive mechanisms involved in the verification of sentences with proportional quantifiers (e.g., "More than half of the dots are blue"). The first study shows that the verification of proportional sentences is more demanding than the verification of sentences such as: "There are seven blue and eight yellow dots". The second study reveals that both types of sentences are correlated with memory storage, however, only proportional sentences are associated with the cognitive control. This result suggests that the cognitive mechanism underlying the verification of proportional quantifiers is crucially related to the integration process, in which an individual has to compare in memory the cardinalities of two sets. In the third study we find that the numerical distance between two cardinalities that must be compared significantly influences the verification time and accuracy. The results of our studies are discussed in the broader context of processing complex sentences. PMID:24374596

  16. Time causes forgetting from working memory.

    PubMed

    Barrouillet, Pierre; De Paepe, Annick; Langerock, Naomi

    2012-02-01

    Although forgetting in the short term is a ubiquitous phenomenon, its exact causes remain undecided. The aim of the present study was to test the temporal decay hypothesis according to which memory traces fade away with time when attention is diverted by concurrent activities. In two experiments involving complex span tasks, adults were asked to remember series of items (either letters or spatial locations) while verifying multiplications. The duration of processing was manipulated by presenting multiplications either in word (three    ×    four    =    twelve) or digit (3    ×    4    =    12) format, the former taking longer to solve, while the time available to restore memory traces after each operation was kept constant across conditions. In line with the temporal decay hypothesis, the longer solution times elicited by solving word multiplications resulted in poorer recall performance. The fact that longer processing times had a comparable effect on both verbal and visuospatial memory and that the difference between conditions remained stable from the first to the last trials makes it difficult to account for these findings by assuming that forgetting is exclusively due to representation-based interference or buildup of proactive interference. PMID:22184034

  17. A potential spatial working memory training task to improve both episodic memory and fluid intelligence.

    PubMed

    Rudebeck, Sarah R; Bor, Daniel; Ormond, Angharad; O'Reilly, Jill X; Lee, Andy C H

    2012-01-01

    One current challenge in cognitive training is to create a training regime that benefits multiple cognitive domains, including episodic memory, without relying on a large battery of tasks, which can be time-consuming and difficult to learn. By giving careful consideration to the neural correlates underlying episodic and working memory, we devised a computerized working memory training task in which neurologically healthy participants were required to monitor and detect repetitions in two streams of spatial information (spatial location and scene identity) presented simultaneously (i.e. a dual n-back paradigm). Participants' episodic memory abilities were assessed before and after training using two object and scene recognition memory tasks incorporating memory confidence judgments. Furthermore, to determine the generalizability of the effects of training, we also assessed fluid intelligence using a matrix reasoning task. By examining the difference between pre- and post-training performance (i.e. gain scores), we found that the trainers, compared to non-trainers, exhibited a significant improvement in fluid intelligence after 20 days. Interestingly, pre-training fluid intelligence performance, but not training task improvement, was a significant predictor of post-training fluid intelligence improvement, with lower pre-training fluid intelligence associated with greater post-training gain. Crucially, trainers who improved the most on the training task also showed an improvement in recognition memory as captured by d-prime scores and estimates of recollection and familiarity memory. Training task improvement was a significant predictor of gains in recognition and familiarity memory performance, with greater training improvement leading to more marked gains. In contrast, lower pre-training recollection memory scores, and not training task improvement, led to greater recollection memory performance after training. Our findings demonstrate that practice on a single

  18. Short Term Memory, Working Memory, and Syntactic Comprehension in Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Caplan, David; Michaud, Jennifer; Hufford, Rebecca

    2013-01-01

    Sixty one people with aphasia were tested on ten tests of short term memory (STM) and for the ability to use syntactic structure to determine the meanings of eleven types of sentences in three tasks – object manipulation, picture matching and picture matching with self-paced listening. Multilevel models showed relationships between measures of the ability to retain and manipulate item and order information in STM and accuracy and RT, and a greater relationship between these STM measures and accuracy and RT for several more complex sentence types in individual tasks. There were no effects of measures of STM that reflect the use of phonological codes or rehearsal on comprehension. There was only one effect of STM measures on self-paced listening times. There were double dissociations between performance on STM and individual comprehension tasks, indicating that normal STM is not necessary to perform normally on these tasks. The results are most easily related to the view that STM plays a facilitatory role in supporting the use of the products of the comprehension process to accomplish operations related to tasks. PMID:23865692

  19. Effect of cognitive load on working memory forgetting in aging.

    PubMed

    Baumans, Christine; Adam, Stephane; Seron, Xavier

    2012-01-01

    Functional approaches to working memory (WM) have been proposed recently to better investigate "maintenance" and "processing" mechanisms. The cognitive load (CL) hypothesis presented in the "Time-Based Resource-Sharing" model (Barrouillet & Camos, 2007) suggests that forgetting from WM (maintenance) can be investigated by varying the presentation rate and processing speed (processing). In this study, young and elderly participants were compared on WM tasks in which the difference in processing speed was controlled by CL manipulations. Two main results were found. First, when time constraints (CL) were matched for the two groups, no aging effect was observed. Second, whereas a large variation in CL affected WM performance, a small CL manipulation had no effect on the elderly. This suggests that WM forgetting cannot be completely accounted for by the CL hypothesis. Rather, it highlights the need to explore restoration times in particular, and the nature of the refreshment mechanisms within maintenance. PMID:22617311

  20. Affective psychotherapy in post-traumatic reactions guided by affective neuroscience: memory reconsolidation and play

    PubMed Central

    Högberg, Göran; Nardo, Davide; Hällström, Tore; Pagani, Marco

    2011-01-01

    This paper reviews the affective neuroscience dealing with the effects of traumatic events. We give an overview of the normal fear reactions, the pathological fear reaction, and the character of emotional episodic memories. We find that both emotions and emotional memories are a tripartite unit of sensory information, autonomic reaction, and motor impulse (the PRM complex). We propose that emotions and movements are part and parcel of the same complex. This is our main finding from the review of affective neuroscience, and from here we focus on psychotherapy with post-trauma reactions. The finding of the process of memory reconsolidation opens up a new treatment approach: affective psychotherapy focused on reconsolidation. The meaning of reconsolidation is that an emotional memory, when retrieved and being active, will rest in a labile form, amenable to change, for a brief period of time, until it reconsolidates in the memory. This leads us to the conclusion that emotions, affects, must be evoked during the treatment session and that positive emotion must come first, because safety must be part of the new memories. In the proposed protocol of affective psychotherapy based on reconsolidation the emotional episodic memory is relived in a safe and positive setting, focused in turn on the sensory experience, the autonomic reaction, and the motor impulse. Then it is followed by a fantasy of a different positive version of the same event. All in all treatment should provide a series of new memories without fear related to the original event. With the focus on the motor program, and the actions, there is a natural link to art therapy and to the mode of play, which can rehearse and fantasize new positive actions. PMID:22114539

  1. Low working memory capacity is only spuriously related to poor reading comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Van Dyke, Julie A.; Johns, Clinton L.; Kukona, Anuenue

    2014-01-01

    Accounts of comprehension failure, whether in the case of readers with poor skill or when syntactic complexity is high, have overwhelmingly implicated working memory capacity as the key causal factor. However, extant research suggests that this position is not well supported by evidence on the span of active memory during online sentence processing, nor is it well motivated by models that make explicit claims about the memory mechanisms that support language processing. The current study suggests that sensitivity to interference from similar items in memory may provide a better explanation of comprehension failure. Through administration of a comprehensive skill battery, we found that the previously observed association of working memory with comprehension is likely due to the collinearity of working memory with many other reading-related skills, especially IQ. In analyses which removed variance shared with IQ, we found that receptive vocabulary knowledge was the only significant predictor of comprehension performance in our task out of a battery of 24 skill measures. In addition, receptive vocabulary and non-verbal memory for serial order—but not simple verbal memory or working memory—were the only predictors of reading times in the region where interference had its primary affect. We interpret these results in light of a model that emphasizes retrieval interference and the quality of lexical representations as key determinants of successful comprehension. PMID:24657820

  2. Release of Inattentional Blindness by High Working Memory Load: Elucidating the Relationship between Working Memory and Selective Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Fockert, Jan W.; Bremner, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    An unexpected stimulus often remains unnoticed if attention is focused elsewhere. This inattentional blindness has been shown to be increased under conditions of high memory load. Here we show that increasing working memory load can also have the opposite effect of reducing inattentional blindness (i.e., improving stimulus detection) if stimulus…

  3. Both a nicotinic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and a noradrenergic SNP modulate working memory performance when attention is manipulated.

    PubMed

    Greenwood, Pamela M; Sundararajan, Ramya; Lin, Ming-Kuan; Kumar, Reshma; Fryxell, Karl J; Parasuraman, Raja

    2009-11-01

    We investigated the relation between the two systems of visuospatial attention and working memory by examining the effect of normal variation in cholinergic and noradrenergic genes on working memory performance under attentional manipulation. We previously reported that working memory for location was impaired following large location precues, indicating the scale of visuospatial attention has a role in forming the mental representation of the target. In one of the first studies to compare effects of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the same cognitive task, we investigated the neurotransmission systems underlying interactions between attention and memory. Based on our previous report that the CHRNA4 rs#1044396 C/T nicotinic receptor SNP affected visuospatial attention, but not working memory, and the DBH rs#1108580 G/A noradrenergic enzyme SNP affected working memory, but not attention, we predicted that both SNPs would modulate performance when the two systems interacted and working memory was manipulated by attention. We found the scale of visuospatial attention deployed around a target affected memory for location of that target. Memory performance was modulated by the two SNPs. CHRNA4 C/C homozygotes and DBH G allele carriers showed the best memory performance but also the greatest benefit of visuospatial attention on memory. Overall, however, the CHRNA4 SNP exerted a stronger effect than the DBH SNP on memory performance when visuospatial attention was manipulated. This evidence of an integrated cholinergic influence on working memory performance under attentional manipulation is consistent with the view that working memory and visuospatial attention are separate systems which can interact.

  4. The effects of working memory resource depletion and training on sensorimotor adaptation.

    PubMed

    Anguera, Joaquin A; Bernard, Jessica A; Jaeggi, Susanne M; Buschkuehl, Martin; Benson, Bryan L; Jennett, Sarah; Humfleet, Jennifer; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A; Jonides, John; Seidler, Rachael D

    2012-03-01

    We have recently demonstrated that visuospatial working memory performance predicts the rate of motor skill learning, particularly during the early phase of visuomotor adaptation. Here, we follow up these correlational findings with direct manipulations of working memory resources to determine the impact on visuomotor adaptation, a form of motor learning. We conducted two separate experiments. In the first one, we used a resource depletion strategy to investigate whether the rate of early visuomotor adaptation would be negatively affected by fatigue of spatial working memory resources. In the second study, we employed a dual n-back task training paradigm that has been shown to result in transfer effects [1] over five weeks to determine whether training-related improvements would boost the rate of early visuomotor adaptation. The depletion of spatial working memory resources negatively affected the rate of early visuomotor adaptation. However, enhancing working memory capacity via training did not lead to improved rates of visuomotor adaptation, suggesting that working memory capacity may not be the factor limiting maximal rate of visuomotor adaptation in young adults. These findings are discussed from a resource limitation/capacity framework with respect to current views of motor learning. PMID:22155489

  5. The effects of working memory resource depletion and training on sensorimotor adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Anguera, Joaquin A.; Bernard, Jessica A.; Jaeggi, Susanne M.; Buschkuehl, Martin; Benson, Bryan L.; Jennett, Sarah; Humfleet, Jennifer; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia; Jonides, John; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2011-01-01

    We have recently demonstrated that visuospatial working memory performance predicts the rate of motor skill learning, particularly during the early phase of visuomotor adaptation. Here, we follow up these correlational findings with direct manipulations of working memory resources to determine the impact on visuomotor adaptation, a form of motor learning. We conducted two separate experiments. In the first one, we used a resource depletion strategy to investigate whether the rate of early visuomotor adaptation would be negatively affected by fatigue of spatial working memory resources. In the second study, we employed a dual n-back task training paradigm that has been shown to result in transfer effects [1] over five weeks to determine whether training-related improvements would boost the rate of early visuomotor adaptation. The depletion of spatial working memory resources negatively affected the rate of early visuomotor adaptation. However, enhancing working memory capacity via training did not lead to improved rates of visuomotor adaptation, suggesting that working memory capacity may not be the factor limiting maximal rate of visuomotor adaptation in young adults. These findings are discussed from a resource limitation / capacity framework with respect to current views of motor learning. PMID:22155489

  6. fMRI characterization of visual working memory recognition.

    PubMed

    Rahm, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Unterrainer, Josef M; Simon, Juliane; Bledowski, Christoph

    2014-04-15

    Encoding and maintenance of information in visual working memory have been extensively studied, highlighting the crucial and capacity-limiting role of fronto-parietal regions. In contrast, the neural basis of recognition in visual working memory has remained largely unspecified. Cognitive models suggest that recognition relies on a matching process that compares sensory information with the mental representations held in memory. To characterize the neural basis of recognition we varied both the need for recognition and the degree of similarity between the probe item and the memory contents, while independently manipulating memory load to produce load-related fronto-parietal activations. fMRI revealed a fractionation of working memory functions across four distributed networks. First, fronto-parietal regions were activated independent of the need for recognition. Second, anterior parts of load-related parietal regions contributed to recognition but their activations were independent of the difficulty of matching in terms of sample-probe similarity. These results argue against a key role of the fronto-parietal attention network in recognition. Rather the third group of regions including bilateral temporo-parietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex and superior frontal sulcus reflected demands on matching both in terms of sample-probe-similarity and the number of items to be compared. Also, fourth, bilateral motor regions and right superior parietal cortex showed higher activation when matching provided clear evidence for a decision. Together, the segregation between the well-known fronto-parietal activations attributed to attentional operations in working memory from those regions involved in matching supports the theoretical view of separable attentional and mnemonic contributions to working memory. Yet, the close theoretical and empirical correspondence to perceptual decision making may call for an explicit consideration of decision making mechanisms in

  7. Individual Differences in Learning Talker Categories: The Role of Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Levi, Susannah V.

    2016-01-01

    The current study explores the question of how an auditory category is learned by having school-age listeners learn to categorize speech not in terms of linguistic categories, but instead in terms of talker categories (i.e., who is talking). Findings from visual-category learning indicate that working memory skills affect learning, but the literature is equivocal: sometimes better working memory is advantageous, and sometimes not. The current study examined the role of different components of working memory to test which component skills benefit, and which hinder, learning talker categories. Results revealed that the short-term storage component positively predicted learning, but that the Central Executive and Episodic Buffer negatively predicted learning. As with visual categories, better working memory is not always an advantage. PMID:25721393

  8. Associations Between White Matter Microstructure and Infants’ Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Short, Sarah J.; Elison, Jed T.; Goldman, Barbara Davis; Styner, Martin; Gu, Hongbin; Connelly, Mark; Maltbie, Eric; Woolson, Sandra; Lin, Weili; Gerig, Guido; Reznick, J. Steven; Gilmore, John H.

    2013-01-01

    Working memory emerges in infancy and plays a privileged role in subsequent adaptive cognitive development. The neural networks important for the development of working memory during infancy remain unknown. We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and deterministic fiber tracking to characterize the microstructure of white matter fiber bundles hypothesized to support working memory in 12-month-old infants (n=73). Here we show robust associations between infants’ visuospatial working memory performance and microstructural characteristics of widespread white matter. Significant associations were found for white matter tracts that connect brain regions known to support working memory in older children and adults (genu, anterior and superior thalamic radiations, anterior cingulum, arcuate fasciculus, and the temporal-parietal segment). Better working memory scores were associated with higher FA and lower RD values in these selected white matter tracts. These tract-specific brain-behavior relationships accounted for a significant amount of individual variation above and beyond infants’ gestational age and developmental level, as measured with the Mullen Scales of Early Learning. Working memory was not associated with global measures of brain volume, as expected, and few associations were found between working memory and control white matter tracts. To our knowledge, this study is among the first demonstrations of brain-behavior associations in infants using quantitative tractography. The ability to characterize subtle individual differences in infant brain development associated with complex cognitive functions holds promise for improving our understanding of normative development, biomarkers of risk, experience-dependent learning and neuro-cognitive periods of developmental plasticity. PMID:22989623

  9. Evolution of Models of Working Memory and Cognitive Resources.

    PubMed

    Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this article is to trace the evolution of models of working memory and cognitive resources from the early 20th century to today. Linear flow models of information processing common in the 1960s and 1970s centered on the transfer of verbal information from a limited-capacity short-term memory store to long-term memory through rehearsal. Current conceptions see working memory as a dynamic system that includes both maintaining and manipulating information through a series of interactive components that include executive control and attentional resources. These models also reflect the evolution from an almost exclusive concentration on working memory for verbal materials to inclusion of a visual working memory component. Although differing in postulated mechanisms and emphasis, these evolving viewpoints all share the recognition that human information processing is a limited-capacity system with limits on the amount of information that can be attended to, remain activated in memory, and utilized at one time. These limitations take on special importance in spoken language comprehension, especially when the stimuli have complex linguistic structures or listening effort is increased by poor acoustic quality or reduced hearing acuity. PMID:27355768

  10. Working memory and reward association learning impairments in obesity

    PubMed Central

    Coppin, Géraldine; Nolan-Poupart, Sarah; Jones-Gotman, Marilyn; Small, Dana M.

    2014-01-01

    Obesity has been associated with impaired executive functions including working memory. Less explored is the influence of obesity on learning and memory. In the current study we assessed stimulus reward association learning, explicit learning and memory and working memory in healthy weight, overweight and obese individuals. Explicit learning and memory did not differ as a function of group. In contrast, working memory was significantly and similarly impaired in both overweight and obese individuals compared to the healthy weight group. In the first reward association learning task the obese, but not healthy weight or overweight participants consistently formed paradoxical preferences for a pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer food rewards). To determine if the deficit was specific to food reward a second experiment was conducted using money. Consistent with experiment 1, obese individuals selected the pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer monetary rewards) more frequently than healthy weight individuals and thus failed to develop a significant preference for the most rewarded patterns as was observed in the healthy weight group. Finally, on a probabilistic learning task, obese compared to healthy weight individuals showed deficits in negative, but not positive outcome learning. Taken together, our results demonstrate deficits in working memory and stimulus reward learning in obesity and suggest that obese individuals are impaired in learning to avoid negative outcomes. PMID:25447070

  11. Working memory capacity and redundant information processing efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Endres, Michael J.; Houpt, Joseph W.; Donkin, Chris; Finn, Peter R.

    2015-01-01

    Working memory capacity (WMC) is typically measured by the amount of task-relevant information an individual can keep in mind while resisting distraction or interference from task-irrelevant information. The current research investigated the extent to which differences in WMC were associated with performance on a novel redundant memory probes (RMP) task that systematically varied the amount of to-be-remembered (targets) and to-be-ignored (distractor) information. The RMP task was designed to both facilitate and inhibit working memory search processes, as evidenced by differences in accuracy, response time, and Linear Ballistic Accumulator (LBA) model estimates of information processing efficiency. Participants (N = 170) completed standard intelligence tests and dual-span WMC tasks, along with the RMP task. As expected, accuracy, response-time, and LBA model results indicated memory search and retrieval processes were facilitated under redundant-target conditions, but also inhibited under mixed target/distractor and redundant-distractor conditions. Repeated measures analyses also indicated that, while individuals classified as high (n = 85) and low (n = 85) WMC did not differ in the magnitude of redundancy effects, groups did differ in the efficiency of memory search and retrieval processes overall. Results suggest that redundant information reliably facilitates and inhibits the efficiency or speed of working memory search, and these effects are independent of more general limits and individual differences in the capacity or space of working memory. PMID:26074828

  12. Dissociable systems of working memory for rhythm and melody.

    PubMed

    Jerde, Trenton A; Childs, Stephanie K; Handy, Sarah T; Nagode, Jennifer C; Pardo, José V

    2011-08-15

    Specialized neural systems are engaged by the rhythmic and melodic components of music. Here, we used PET to measure regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in a working memory task for sequences of rhythms and melodies, which were presented in separate blocks. Healthy subjects, without musical training, judged whether a target rhythm or melody was identical to a series of subsequently presented rhythms or melodies. When contrasted with passive listening to rhythms, working memory for rhythm activated the cerebellar hemispheres and vermis, right anterior insular cortex, and left anterior cingulate gyrus. These areas were not activated in a contrast between passive listening to rhythms and a non-auditory control, indicating their role in the temporal processing that was specific to working memory for rhythm. The contrast between working memory for melody and passive listening to melodies activated mainly a right-hemisphere network of frontal, parietal, and temporal cortices: areas involved in pitch processing and auditory working memory. Overall, these results demonstrate that rhythm and melody have unique neural signatures not only in the early stages of auditory processing, but also at the higher cognitive level of working memory. PMID:21645625

  13. Social Working Memory: Neurocognitive Networks and Directions for Future Research

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Meghan L.; Lieberman, Matthew D.

    2012-01-01

    Navigating the social world requires the ability to maintain and manipulate information about people’s beliefs, traits, and mental states. We characterize this capacity as social working memory (SWM). To date, very little research has explored this phenomenon, in part because of the assumption that general working memory systems would support working memory for social information. Various lines of research, however, suggest that social cognitive processing relies on a neurocognitive network (i.e., the “mentalizing network”) that is functionally distinct from, and considered antagonistic with, the canonical working memory network. Here, we review evidence suggesting that demanding social cognition requires SWM and that both the mentalizing and canonical working memory neurocognitive networks support SWM. The neural data run counter to the common finding of parametric decreases in mentalizing regions as a function of working memory demand and suggest that the mentalizing network can support demanding cognition, when it is demanding social cognition. Implications for individual differences in social cognition and pathologies of social cognition are discussed. PMID:23267340

  14. Control of Working Memory in Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Hsiao-Wei; Hampton, Robert R.

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive control is critical for efficiently using the limited resources in working memory. It is well established that humans use rehearsal to increase the probability of remembering needed information, but little is known in nonhumans, with some studies reporting the absence of active control and others subject to alternative explanations. We trained monkeys in a visual matching-to-sample paradigm with a post-sample memory cue. Monkeys either saw a remember cue that predicted the occurrence of a matching test that required memory for the sample, or a forget cue that predicted a discrimination test that did not require memory of the sample. Infrequent probe trials on which monkeys were given tests of the type not cued on that trial were used to assess whether memory was under cognitive control. Our procedures controlled for reward expectation and for the surprising nature of the probes. Monkeys matched less accurately after forget cues, while discrimination accuracy was equivalent in the two cue conditions. We also tested monkeys with lists of two consecutive sample images that shared the same cue. Again, memory for expected memory tests was superior to that on unexpected tests. Together these results show that monkeys cognitively control their working memory. PMID:25436219

  15. Control of working memory in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).

    PubMed

    Tu, Hsiao-Wei; Hampton, Robert R

    2014-10-01

    Cognitive control is critical for efficiently using the limited resources in working memory. It is well established that humans use rehearsal to increase the probability of remembering needed information, but little is known in nonhumans, with some studies reporting the absence of active control and others subject to alternative explanations. We trained monkeys in a visual matching-to-sample paradigm with a post-sample memory cue. Monkeys either saw a remember cue that predicted the occurrence of a matching test that required memory for the sample, or a forget cue that predicted a discrimination test that did not require memory of the sample. Infrequent probe trials on which monkeys were given tests of the type not cued on that trial were used to assess whether memory was under cognitive control. Our procedures controlled for reward expectation and for the surprising nature of the probes. Monkeys matched less accurately after forget cues, whereas discrimination accuracy was equivalent in the 2 cue conditions. We also tested monkeys with lists of 2 consecutive sample images that shared the same cue. Again, memory for expected memory tests was superior to that on unexpected tests. Together these results show that monkeys cognitively control their working memory. PMID:25546104

  16. PERK Regulates Working Memory and Protein Synthesis-Dependent Memory Flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Siying; Henninger, Keely; McGrath, Barbara C.; Cavener, Douglas R.

    2016-01-01

    PERK (EIF2AK3) is an ER-resident eIF2α kinase required for memory flexibility and metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term depression, processes known to be dependent on new protein synthesis. Here we investigated PERK’s role in working memory, a cognitive ability that is independent of new protein synthesis, but instead is dependent on cellular Ca2+ dynamics. We found that working memory is impaired in forebrain-specific Perk knockout and pharmacologically PERK-inhibited mice. Moreover, inhibition of PERK in wild-type mice mimics the fear extinction impairment observed in forebrain-specific Perk knockout mice. Our findings reveal a novel role of PERK in cognitive functions and suggest that PERK regulates both Ca2+ -dependent working memory and protein synthesis-dependent memory flexibility. PMID:27627766

  17. PERK Regulates Working Memory and Protein Synthesis-Dependent Memory Flexibility.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Siying; Henninger, Keely; McGrath, Barbara C; Cavener, Douglas R

    2016-01-01

    PERK (EIF2AK3) is an ER-resident eIF2α kinase required for memory flexibility and metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term depression, processes known to be dependent on new protein synthesis. Here we investigated PERK's role in working memory, a cognitive ability that is independent of new protein synthesis, but instead is dependent on cellular Ca2+ dynamics. We found that working memory is impaired in forebrain-specific Perk knockout and pharmacologically PERK-inhibited mice. Moreover, inhibition of PERK in wild-type mice mimics the fear extinction impairment observed in forebrain-specific Perk knockout mice. Our findings reveal a novel role of PERK in cognitive functions and suggest that PERK regulates both Ca2+ -dependent working memory and protein synthesis-dependent memory flexibility. PMID:27627766

  18. Does strategic memory training improve the working memory performance of younger and older adults?

    PubMed

    Carretti, Barbara; Borella, Erika; De Beni, Rossana

    2007-01-01

    The paper examines the effect of strategic training on the performance of younger and older adults in an immediate list-recall and a working memory task. The experimental groups of younger and older adults received three sessions of memory training, teaching the use of mental images to improve the memorization of word lists. In contrast, the control groups were not instructed to use any particular strategy, but they were requested to carry out the memory exercises. The results showed that strategic training improved performance of both the younger and older experimental groups in the immediate list recall and in the working memory task. Of particular interest, the improvement in working memory performance of the older experimental group was comparable to that of the younger experimental group.

  19. Dynamic interactions between visual working memory and saccade target selection.

    PubMed

    Schneegans, Sebastian; Spencer, John P; Schöner, Gregor; Hwang, Seongmin; Hollingworth, Andrew

    2014-09-16

    Recent psychophysical experiments have shown that working memory for visual surface features interacts with saccadic motor planning, even in tasks where the saccade target is unambiguously specified by spatial cues. Specifically, a match between a memorized color and the color of either the designated target or a distractor stimulus influences saccade target selection, saccade amplitudes, and latencies in a systematic fashion. To elucidate these effects, we present a dynamic neural field model in combination with new experimental data. The model captures the neural processes underlying visual perception, working memory, and saccade planning relevant to the psychophysical experiment. It consists of a low-level visual sensory representation that interacts with two separate pathways: a spatial pathway implementing spatial attention and saccade generation, and a surface feature pathway implementing color working memory and feature attention. Due to bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and feature attention in the model, the working memory content can indirectly exert an effect on perceptual processing in the low-level sensory representation. This in turn biases saccadic movement planning in the spatial pathway, allowing the model to quantitatively reproduce the observed interaction effects. The continuous coupling between representations in the model also implies that modulation should be bidirectional, and model simulations provide specific predictions for complementary effects of saccade target selection on visual working memory. These predictions were empirically confirmed in a new experiment: Memory for a sample color was biased toward the color of a task-irrelevant saccade target object, demonstrating the bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and perceptual processing.

  20. Dynamic interactions between visual working memory and saccade target selection

    PubMed Central

    Schneegans, Sebastian; Spencer, John P.; Schöner, Gregor; Hwang, Seongmin; Hollingworth, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Recent psychophysical experiments have shown that working memory for visual surface features interacts with saccadic motor planning, even in tasks where the saccade target is unambiguously specified by spatial cues. Specifically, a match between a memorized color and the color of either the designated target or a distractor stimulus influences saccade target selection, saccade amplitudes, and latencies in a systematic fashion. To elucidate these effects, we present a dynamic neural field model in combination with new experimental data. The model captures the neural processes underlying visual perception, working memory, and saccade planning relevant to the psychophysical experiment. It consists of a low-level visual sensory representation that interacts with two separate pathways: a spatial pathway implementing spatial attention and saccade generation, and a surface feature pathway implementing color working memory and feature attention. Due to bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and feature attention in the model, the working memory content can indirectly exert an effect on perceptual processing in the low-level sensory representation. This in turn biases saccadic movement planning in the spatial pathway, allowing the model to quantitatively reproduce the observed interaction effects. The continuous coupling between representations in the model also implies that modulation should be bidirectional, and model simulations provide specific predictions for complementary effects of saccade target selection on visual working memory. These predictions were empirically confirmed in a new experiment: Memory for a sample color was biased toward the color of a task-irrelevant saccade target object, demonstrating the bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and perceptual processing. PMID:25228628

  1. Dynamic interactions between visual working memory and saccade target selection.

    PubMed

    Schneegans, Sebastian; Spencer, John P; Schöner, Gregor; Hwang, Seongmin; Hollingworth, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Recent psychophysical experiments have shown that working memory for visual surface features interacts with saccadic motor planning, even in tasks where the saccade target is unambiguously specified by spatial cues. Specifically, a match between a memorized color and the color of either the designated target or a distractor stimulus influences saccade target selection, saccade amplitudes, and latencies in a systematic fashion. To elucidate these effects, we present a dynamic neural field model in combination with new experimental data. The model captures the neural processes underlying visual perception, working memory, and saccade planning relevant to the psychophysical experiment. It consists of a low-level visual sensory representation that interacts with two separate pathways: a spatial pathway implementing spatial attention and saccade generation, and a surface feature pathway implementing color working memory and feature attention. Due to bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and feature attention in the model, the working memory content can indirectly exert an effect on perceptual processing in the low-level sensory representation. This in turn biases saccadic movement planning in the spatial pathway, allowing the model to quantitatively reproduce the observed interaction effects. The continuous coupling between representations in the model also implies that modulation should be bidirectional, and model simulations provide specific predictions for complementary effects of saccade target selection on visual working memory. These predictions were empirically confirmed in a new experiment: Memory for a sample color was biased toward the color of a task-irrelevant saccade target object, demonstrating the bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and perceptual processing. PMID:25228628

  2. Natural polymorphism affecting learning and memory in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Mery, Frederic; Belay, Amsale T; So, Anthony K-C; Sokolowski, Marla B; Kawecki, Tadeusz J

    2007-08-01

    Knowing which genes contribute to natural variation in learning and memory would help us understand how differences in these cognitive traits evolve among populations and species. We show that a natural polymorphism at the foraging (for) locus, which encodes a cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG), affects associative olfactory learning in Drosophila melanogaster. In an assay that tests the ability to associate an odor with mechanical shock, flies homozygous for one natural allelic variant of this gene (forR) showed better short-term but poorer long-term memory than flies homozygous for another natural allele (fors). The fors allele is characterized by reduced PKG activity. We showed that forR-like levels of both short-term learning and long-term memory can be induced in fors flies by selectively increasing the level of PKG in the mushroom bodies, which are centers of olfactory learning in the fly brain. Thus, the natural polymorphism at for may mediate an evolutionary tradeoff between short- and long-term memory. The respective strengths of learning performance of the two genotypes seem coadapted with their effects on foraging behavior: forR flies move more between food patches and so could particularly benefit from fast learning, whereas fors flies are more sedentary, which should favor good long-term memory.

  3. Recognition memory probes affect what is remembered in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Barbara L; Parker, Elizabeth S; Rosse, Richard B; Deutsch, Stephen I

    2009-05-15

    Cognitive psychology offers tools to localize the memory processes most vulnerable to disruption in schizophrenia and to identify how patients with schizophrenia best remember. In this research, we used the University of Southern California Repeatable Episodic Memory Test (USC-REMT; Parker, E.S., Landau, S.M., Whipple, S.C., Schwartz, B.L., 2004. Aging, recall, and recognition: A study on the sensitivity of the University of Southern California Repeatable Episodic Memory Test (USC-REMT). Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 26(3), 428-440.) to examine how two different recognition memory probes affect memory performance in patients with schizophrenia and matched controls. Patients with schizophrenia studied equivalent word lists and were tested by yes-no recognition and forced-choice recognition following identical encoding and storage conditions. Compared with controls, patients with schizophrenia were particularly impaired when tested by yes-no recognition relative to forced-choice recognition. Patients had greatest deficits on hits in yes-no recognition but did not exhibit elevated false alarms. The data point to the importance of retrieval processes in schizophrenia, and highlight the need for further research on ways to help patients with schizophrenia access what they have learned. PMID:19339054

  4. Retention interval affects visual short-term memory encoding.

    PubMed

    Bankó, Eva M; Vidnyánszky, Zoltán

    2010-03-01

    Humans can efficiently store fine-detailed facial emotional information in visual short-term memory for several seconds. However, an unresolved question is whether the same neural mechanisms underlie high-fidelity short-term memory for emotional expressions at different retention intervals. Here we show that retention interval affects the neural processes of short-term memory encoding using a delayed facial emotion discrimination task. The early sensory P100 component of the event-related potentials (ERP) was larger in the 1-s interstimulus interval (ISI) condition than in the 6-s ISI condition, whereas the face-specific N170 component was larger in the longer ISI condition. Furthermore, the memory-related late P3b component of the ERP responses was also modulated by retention interval: it was reduced in the 1-s ISI as compared with the 6-s condition. The present findings cannot be explained based on differences in sensory processing demands or overall task difficulty because there was no difference in the stimulus information and subjects' performance between the two different ISI conditions. These results reveal that encoding processes underlying high-precision short-term memory for facial emotional expressions are modulated depending on whether information has to be stored for one or for several seconds.

  5. Variation in Working Memory Capacity and Temporal-Contextual Retrieval from Episodic Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spillers, Gregory J.; Unsworth, Nash

    2011-01-01

    Unsworth and Engle (2007) recently proposed a model of working memory capacity characterized by, among other things, the ability to conduct a strategic, cue-dependent search of long-term memory. Although this ability has been found to mediate individual variation in a number of higher order cognitive tasks, the component processes involved remain…

  6. A Processing Approach to the Working Memory/Long-Term Memory Distinction: Evidence from the Levels-of-Processing Span Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Nathan S.; Craik, Fergus I. M.

    2012-01-01

    Recent theories suggest that performance on working memory (WM) tasks involves retrieval from long-term memory (LTM). To examine whether WM and LTM tests have common principles, Craik and Tulving's (1975) levels-of-processing paradigm, which is known to affect LTM, was administered as a WM task: Participants made uppercase, rhyme, or…

  7. Beyond Capacity Limitations: Determinants of Word Recall Performance on Verbal Working Memory Span Tasks in Children with SLI

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mainela-Arnold, Elina; Evans, Julia L.

    2005-01-01

    Reduced verbal working memory capacity has been proposed as a possible account of language impairments in specific language impairment (SLI). Studies have shown, however, that differences in strength of linguistic representations in the form of word frequency affect list recall and performance on verbal working memory tasks. This suggests that…

  8. An Investigation of Working Memory Effects on Oral Grammatical Accuracy and Fluency in Producing Questions in English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Clare

    2013-01-01

    This article addresses the question of how far working memory may affect second language (L2) learners' improvement in spoken language during a period of immersion. Research is presented testing the hypothesis that individual differences in working memory (WM) capacity are associated with individual variation in improvements in oral production of…

  9. Oculomotor preparation as a rehearsal mechanism in spatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Pearson, David G; Ball, Keira; Smith, Daniel T

    2014-09-01

    There is little consensus regarding the specific processes responsible for encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of information in visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM). One influential theory is that VSWM may involve activation of the eye-movement (oculomotor) system. In this study we experimentally prevented healthy participants from planning or executing saccadic eye-movements during the encoding, maintenance, and retrieval stages of visual and spatial working memory tasks. Participants experienced a significant reduction in spatial memory span only when oculomotor preparation was prevented during encoding or maintenance. In contrast there was no reduction when oculomotor preparation was prevented only during retrieval. These results show that (a) involvement of the oculomotor system is necessary for optimal maintenance of directly-indicated locations in spatial working memory and (b) oculomotor preparation is not necessary during retrieval from spatial working memory. We propose that this study is the first to unambiguously demonstrate that the oculomotor system contributes to the maintenance of spatial locations in working memory independently from the involvement of covert attention. PMID:24908341

  10. Different effects of executive and visuospatial working memory on visual consciousness.

    PubMed

    De Loof, Esther; Poppe, Louise; Cleeremans, Axel; Gevers, Wim; Van Opstal, Filip

    2015-11-01

    Consciousness and working memory are two widely studied cognitive phenomena. Although they have been closely tied on a theoretical and neural level, empirical work that investigates their relation is largely lacking. In this study, the relationship between visual consciousness and different working memory components is investigated by using a dual-task paradigm. More specifically, while participants were performing a visual detection task to measure their visual awareness threshold, they had to concurrently perform either an executive or visuospatial working memory task. We hypothesized that visual consciousness would be hindered depending on the type and the size of the load in working memory. Results showed that maintaining visuospatial content in working memory hinders visual awareness, irrespective of the amount of information maintained. By contrast, the detection threshold was progressively affected under increasing executive load. Interestingly, increasing executive load had a generic effect on detection speed, calling into question whether its obstructing effect is specific to the visual awareness threshold. Together, these results indicate that visual consciousness depends differently on executive and visuospatial working memory.

  11. Is a search template an ordinary working memory? Comparing electrophysiological markers of working memory maintenance for visual search and recognition.

    PubMed

    Gunseli, Eren; Meeter, Martijn; Olivers, Christian N L

    2014-07-01

    Visual search requires the maintenance of a search template in visual working memory in order to guide attention towards the target. This raises the question whether a search template is essentially the same as a visual working memory representation used in tasks that do not require attentional guidance, or whether it is a qualitatively different representation. Two experiments tested this by comparing electrophysiological markers of visual working memory maintenance between simple recognition and search tasks. For both experiments, responses were less rapid and less accurate in search task than in simple recognition. Nevertheless, the contralateral delay activity (CDA), an index of quantity and quality of visual working memory representations, was equal across tasks. On the other hand, the late positive complex (LPC), which is sensitive to the effort invested in visual working memory maintenance, was greater for the search task than the recognition task. Additionally, when the same target cue was repeated across trials (Experiment 2), the amplitude of visual working memory markers (both CDA and LPC) decreased, demonstrating learning of the target at an equal rate for both tasks. Our results suggest that a search template is qualitatively the same as a representation used for simple recognition, but greater effort is invested in its maintenance.

  12. Modeling the role of working memory and episodic memory in behavioral tasks.

    PubMed

    Zilli, Eric A; Hasselmo, Michael E

    2008-01-01

    The mechanisms of goal-directed behavior have been studied using reinforcement learning theory, but these theoretical techniques have not often been used to address the role of memory systems in performing behavioral tasks. This work addresses this shortcoming by providing a way in which working memory (WM) and episodic memory may be included in the reinforcement learning framework, then simulating the successful acquisition and performance of six behavioral tasks, drawn from or inspired by the rat experimental literature, that require WM or episodic memory for correct performance. With no delay imposed during the tasks, simulations with WM can solve all of the tasks at above the chance level. When a delay is imposed, simulations with both episodic memory and WM can solve all of the tasks except a disambiguation of odor sequences task.

  13. Effects of arginine vasopressin on musical working memory

    PubMed Central

    Granot, Roni Y.; Uzefovsky, Florina; Bogopolsky, Helena; Ebstein, Richard P.

    2013-01-01

    Previous genetic studies showed an association between variations in the gene coding for the 1a receptor of the neuro-hormone arginine vasopressin (AVP) and musical working memory (WM). The current study set out to test the influence of intranasal administration (INA) of AVP on musical as compared to verbal WM using a double blind crossover (AVP—placebo) design. Two groups of 25 males were exposed to 20 IU of AVP in one session, and 20 IU of saline water (placebo) in a second session, 1 week apart. In each session subjects completed the tonal subtest from Gordon's “Musical Aptitude Profile,” the interval subtest from the “Montreal Battery for Evaluation of Amusias (MBEA),” and the forward and backward digit span tests. Scores in the digit span tests were not influenced by AVP. In contrast, in the music tests there was an AVP effect. In the MBEA test, scores for the group receiving placebo in the first session (PV) were higher than for the group receiving vasopressin in the first session (VP) (p < 0.05) with no main Session effect nor Group × Session interaction. In the Gordon test there was a main Session effect (p < 0.05) with scores higher in the second as compared to the first session, a marginal main Group effect (p = 0.093) and a marginal Group × Session interaction (p = 0.88). In addition we found that the group that received AVP in the first session scored higher on scales indicative of happiness, and alertness on the positive and negative affect scale, (PANAS). Only in this group and only in the music test these scores were significantly correlated with memory scores. Together the results reflect a complex interaction between AVP, musical memory, arousal, and contextual effects such as session, and base levels of memory. The results are interpreted in light of music's universal use as a means to modulate arousal on the one hand, and AVP's influence on mood, arousal, and social interactions on the other. PMID:24151474

  14. Effects of arginine vasopressin on musical working memory.

    PubMed

    Granot, Roni Y; Uzefovsky, Florina; Bogopolsky, Helena; Ebstein, Richard P

    2013-01-01

    Previous genetic studies showed an association between variations in the gene coding for the 1a receptor of the neuro-hormone arginine vasopressin (AVP) and musical working memory (WM). The current study set out to test the influence of intranasal administration (INA) of AVP on musical as compared to verbal WM using a double blind crossover (AVP-placebo) design. Two groups of 25 males were exposed to 20 IU of AVP in one session, and 20 IU of saline water (placebo) in a second session, 1 week apart. In each session subjects completed the tonal subtest from Gordon's "Musical Aptitude Profile," the interval subtest from the "Montreal Battery for Evaluation of Amusias (MBEA)," and the forward and backward digit span tests. Scores in the digit span tests were not influenced by AVP. In contrast, in the music tests there was an AVP effect. In the MBEA test, scores for the group receiving placebo in the first session (PV) were higher than for the group receiving vasopressin in the first session (VP) (p < 0.05) with no main Session effect nor Group × Session interaction. In the Gordon test there was a main Session effect (p < 0.05) with scores higher in the second as compared to the first session, a marginal main Group effect (p = 0.093) and a marginal Group × Session interaction (p = 0.88). In addition we found that the group that received AVP in the first session scored higher on scales indicative of happiness, and alertness on the positive and negative affect scale, (PANAS). Only in this group and only in the music test these scores were significantly correlated with memory scores. Together the results reflect a complex interaction between AVP, musical memory, arousal, and contextual effects such as session, and base levels of memory. The results are interpreted in light of music's universal use as a means to modulate arousal on the one hand, and AVP's influence on mood, arousal, and social interactions on the other.

  15. Individual differences in children's working memory and writing skill.

    PubMed

    Swanson, H L; Berninger, V W

    1996-11-01

    The purpose of this research is to address (a) whether individual differences in working memory (WM) and writing are related to a general or process-specific system, (b) whether WM tasks operate independently of phonological short-term memory (STM) on measures of writing and reading, and (c) whether working memory predicts variance in writing beyond that predicted by reading alone. The present study correlated several WM and phonological STM measures with writing and reading measures. The study showed among the memory measures that a four-factor model reflecting phonological STM, verbal WM span, executive processing, and visual-spatial WM span best fit the multivariate data set. Working memory was correlated significantly with a number of writing measures, particularly those related to text generation. WM measures contributed unique variance to writing that was independent of reading skill, and STM measures best predicted transcription processes and reading recognition, whereas WM measures best predicted text generation and reading comprehension. Both verbal and visual-spatial working memory measures predicted reading comprehension, whereas only WM measures that reflect executive processing significantly predicted writing. In general, the results suggest that individual differences in children's writing reflect a specific capacity system, whereas reading comprehension draws upon a multiple capacity system. PMID:8923751

  16. Can landscape memory affect vegetation recovery in drylands?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baartman, Jantiene; Garcia Mayor, Angeles; Temme, Arnaud; Rietkerk, Max

    2016-04-01

    Dryland ecosystems are water-limited and therefore vegetation typically forms banded or patchy patterns with high vegetation cover, interspersed with bare soil areas. In these systems, a runoff-runon system is often observed with bare areas acting as sources and vegetation patches acting as sinks of water, sediment and other transported substances. These fragile ecosystems are easily disturbed by overgrazing, removing above-ground vegetation. To avoid desertification, vegetation recovery after a disturbance is crucial. This poster discusses the potential of 'landscape memory' to affect the vegetation recovery potential. Landscape memory, originating in geomorphology, is the concept that a landscape is the result of its past history, which it 'remembers' through imprints left in the landscape. For example, a past heavy rainstorm may leave an erosion gully. These imprints affect the landscape's contemporary functioning, for example through faster removal of water from the landscape. In dryland ecosystems vegetation is known to affect the soil properties of the soil they grow in, e.g. increasing porosity, infiltration, organic matter content and soil structure. After a disturbance of the banded ecosystem, e.g. by overgrazing, this pattern of soil properties - favourable for regrowth, stays in the landscape. However, removal of the above-ground vegetation also leads to longer runoff pathways and increased rill and gully erosion, which may hamper vegetation regrowth. I hypothesize that vegetation recovery after a disturbance, depends on the balance between these two contrasting types of landscape memory (i.e. favourable soil properties and erosion rills/gullies).

  17. Noise in neural populations accounts for errors in working memory.

    PubMed

    Bays, Paul M

    2014-03-01

    Errors in short-term memory increase with the quantity of information stored, limiting the complexity of cognition and behavior. In visual memory, attempts to account for errors in terms of allocation of a limited pool of working memory resources have met with some success, but the biological basis for this cognitive architecture is unclear. An alternative perspective attributes recall errors to noise in tuned populations of neurons that encode stimulus features in spiking activity. I show that errors associated with decreasing signal strength in probabilistically spiking neurons reproduce the pattern of failures in human recall under increasing memory load. In particular, deviations from the normal distribution that are characteristic of working memory errors and have been attributed previously to guesses or variability in precision are shown to arise as a natural consequence of decoding populations of tuned neurons. Observers possess fine control over memory representations and prioritize accurate storage of behaviorally relevant information, at a cost to lower priority stimuli. I show that changing the input drive to neurons encoding a prioritized stimulus biases population activity in a manner that reproduces this empirical tradeoff in memory precision. In a task in which predictive cues indicate stimuli most probable for test, human observers use the cues in an optimal manner to maximize performance, within the constraints imposed by neural noise. PMID:24599462

  18. Association between Serum Copper Status and Working Memory in Schoolchildren

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Guoping; Ji, Xiaopeng; Cui, Naixue; Cao, Siyuan; Liu, Chang; Liu, Jianghong

    2015-01-01

    Trace elements such as copper are essential micronutrients. Traditionally, copper has been studied in the context of micronutrient deficiencies. Recent studies in both animals and humans, however, have revealed that elevated blood copper can also have adverse effects on cognitive function since free copper can cross the blood-brain barrier and subsequently impose oxidative stress to neuronal cells. However, most of these human studies were conducted in adult populations with and without cognitive decline, and there are few studies on the effect of excess copper on cognitive function in children. This project seeks to look at the effects of elevated copper levels on cognitive development in a population of school age children (ages 10–14 years with mean age of 12.03 years and standard deviation (SD) of 0.44) from Jintan, China. Briefly, serum copper levels and working memory test scores were collected from a sample of 826 children with a mean serum copper level of 98.10 (SD 0.75). Copper level was considered as a categorical variable (taking the first group as those with as ≤84.3 μg/dL, the second group as >84.3 and ≤110.4 μg/dL, and the third group as >110.4 μg/dL with the cut-off values defined by the first and third quartiles of the sample). Results showed a significant association between high copper levels (>110.4 μg/dL) and poorer working memory in boys but this association was not seen in lower copper levels in either sex. These results suggests that in school age children, like in adults, elevated copper levels have the potential to adversely affect cognition. PMID:26343713

  19. Do transactive memory and participative teamwork improve nurses' quality of work life?

    PubMed

    Brunault, Paul; Fouquereau, Evelyne; Colombat, Philippe; Gillet, Nicolas; El-Hage, Wissam; Camus, Vincent; Gaillard, Philippe

    2014-03-01

    Improvement in nurses' quality of work life (QWL) has become a major issue in health care organizations. We hypothesized that the level of transactive memory (defined as the way groups collectively encode, store, and retrieve knowledge) and participative teamwork (an organizational model of care based on vocational training, a specific service's care project, and regular interdisciplinary staffing) positively affect nurses' QWL. This cross-sectional study enrolled 84 ward-based psychiatric nurses. We assessed transactive memory, participative teamwork, perceived organizational justice, perceived organizational support, and QWL using psychometrically reliable and valid scales. Participative teamwork and transactive memory were positively associated with nurses' QWL. Perceived organizational support and organizational justice fully mediated the relationship between participative teamwork and QWL, but not between transactive memory and QWL. Improved transactive memory could directly improve nurses' QWL. Improved participative teamwork could improve nurses' QWL through better perceived organizational support and perceived organizational justice.

  20. Making working memory work: a meta-analysis of executive-control and working memory training in older adults.

    PubMed

    Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2014-11-01

    This meta-analysis examined the effects of process-based executive-function and working memory training (49 articles, 61 independent samples) in older adults (> 60 years). The interventions resulted in significant effects on performance on the trained task and near-transfer tasks; significant results were obtained for the net pretest-to-posttest gain relative to active and passive control groups and for the net effect at posttest relative to active and passive control groups. Far-transfer effects were smaller than near-transfer effects but were significant for the net pretest-to-posttest gain relative to passive control groups and for the net gain at posttest relative to both active and passive control groups. We detected marginally significant differences in training-induced improvements between working memory and executive-function training, but no differences between the training-induced improvements observed in older adults and younger adults, between the benefits associated with adaptive and nonadaptive training, or between the effects in active and passive control conditions. Gains did not vary with total training time.

  1. Making working memory work: A meta-analysis of executive control and working memory training in younger and older adults

    PubMed Central

    Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2015-01-01

    This meta-analysis examined the effects of process-based cognitive training (49 studies) in the domains of executive function and working memory in older adults (>60 years). The interventions resulted in significant effects on the trained task (pre-to-posttest net gain: MSD = 0.5 compared to active control, MSD = 0.8 compared to passive control; net posttest effect: MSD = 1.2 compared to active control, MSD = 1.1 compared to passive control), significant near transfer (pre-post: MSD = 0.3, 0.3; posttest: MSD = 0.6, 0.4); far-transfer effects were significant in 3 out of 4 comparisons (pre-post: MSD = 0.2, 0.2; net gain at posttest: MSD = 0.3, 0.2, ns). We detected small differences in training-induced improvements between working-memory and executive-functioning training, but none between older adults and the younger-adult samples included in these studies, adaptive and non-adaptive training, or active and passive control conditions. Gains did not vary with total training time. PMID:25298292

  2. Focused, Unfocused, and Defocused Information in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rerko, Laura; Oberauer, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    The study investigated the effect of selection cues in working memory (WM) on the fate of not-selected contents of WM. Experiments 1A and 1B showed that focusing on 1 cued item in WM does not impair memory for the remaining items. The nonfocused items are maintained in WM even when this is not required by the task. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that…

  3. Is working memory training effective? A meta-analytic review.

    PubMed

    Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2013-02-01

    It has been suggested that working memory training programs are effective both as treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other cognitive disorders in children and as a tool to improve cognitive ability and scholastic attainment in typically developing children and adults. However, effects across studies appear to be variable, and a systematic meta-analytic review was undertaken. To be included in the review, studies had to be randomized controlled trials or quasi-experiments without randomization, have a treatment, and have either a treated group or an untreated control group. Twenty-three studies with 30 group comparisons met the criteria for inclusion. The studies included involved clinical samples and samples of typically developing children and adults. Meta-analyses indicated that the programs produced reliable short-term improvements in working memory skills. For verbal working memory, these near-transfer effects were not sustained at follow-up, whereas for visuospatial working memory, limited evidence suggested that such effects might be maintained. More importantly, there was no convincing evidence of the generalization of working memory training to other skills (nonverbal and verbal ability, inhibitory processes in attention, word decoding, and arithmetic). The authors conclude that memory training programs appear to produce short-term, specific training effects that do not generalize. Possible limitations of the review (including age differences in the samples and the variety of different clinical conditions included) are noted. However, current findings cast doubt on both the clinical relevance of working memory training programs and their utility as methods of enhancing cognitive functioning in typically developing children and healthy adults. PMID:22612437

  4. Performance-based empathy mediates the influence of working memory on social competence in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Smith, Matthew J; Horan, William P; Cobia, Derin J; Karpouzian, Tatiana M; Fox, Jaclyn M; Reilly, James L; Breiter, Hans C

    2014-07-01

    Empathic deficits have been linked to poor functioning in schizophrenia, but this work is mostly limited to self-report data. This study examined whether performance-based empathy measures account for incremental variance in social competence and social attainment above and beyond self-reported empathy, neurocognition, and clinical symptoms. Given the importance of working memory in theoretical models of empathy and in the prediction of functioning in schizophrenia, we also examined whether empathy mediates the relationship between working memory and functioning. Sixty outpatients and 45 healthy controls were compared on performance-based measures of 3 key components of empathic responding, including facial affect perception, emotional empathy (affective responsiveness), and cognitive empathy (emotional perspective-taking). Participants also completed measures of self-reported empathy, neurocognition, clinical symptoms, and social competence and attainment. Patients demonstrated lower accuracy than controls across the 3 performance-based empathy measures. Among patients, these measures showed minimal relations to self-reported empathy but significantly correlated with working memory and other neurocognitive functions as well as symptom levels. Furthermore, cognitive empathy explained significant incremental variance in social competence (∆R (2) = .07, P < .05) and was found to mediate the relation between working memory and social competence. Performance-based measures of empathy were sensitive to functionally relevant disturbances in schizophrenia. Working memory deficits appear to have an important effect on these disruptions in empathy. Empathy is emerging as a promising new area for social cognitive research and for novel recovery-oriented treatment development.

  5. The Effect of Rehearsal Rate and Memory Load on Verbal Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Fegen, David; Buchsbaum, Bradley R.; D’Esposito, Mark

    2014-01-01

    While many neuroimaging studies have investigated verbal working memory (WM) by manipulating memory load, the subvocal rehearsal rate at these various memory loads has generally been left uncontrolled. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate how mnemonic load and the rate of subvocal rehearsal modulate patterns of activity in the core neural circuits underlying verbal working memory. Using fMRI in healthy subjects, we orthogonally manipulated subvocal rehearsal rate and memory load in a verbal WM task with long 45-second delay periods. We found that middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and superior parietal lobule (SPL) exhibited memory load effects primarily early in the delay period and did not exhibit rehearsal rate effects. In contrast, we found that inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), premotor cortex (PM) and Sylvian-parietal-temporal region (area Spt) exhibited approximately linear memory load and rehearsal rate effects, with rehearsal rate effects lasting through the entire delay period. These results indicate that IFG, PM and area Spt comprise the core articulatory rehearsal areas involved in verbal WM, while MFG and SPL are recruited in a general supervisory role once a memory load threshold in the core rehearsal network has been exceeded. PMID:25467303

  6. How Does Working Memory Enable Number-Induced Spatial Biases?

    PubMed Central

    Abrahamse, Elger; van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Fias, Wim

    2016-01-01

    Number-space associations are a robust observation, but their underlying mechanisms remain debated. Two major accounts have been identified. First, spatial codes may constitute an intrinsic part of number representations stored in the brain – a perspective most commonly referred to as the Mental Number Line account. Second, spatial codes may be generated at the level of working memory when number (or other) representations are coordinated in function of a specific task. The aim of the current paper is twofold. First, whereas a pure Mental Number Line account cannot capture the complexity of observations reported in the literature, we here explore if and how a pure working memory account can suffice. Second, we make explicit (more than in our earlier work) the potential building blocks of such a working memory account, thereby providing clear and concrete foci for empirical efforts to test the feasibility of the account. PMID:27445937

  7. How Does Working Memory Enable Number-Induced Spatial Biases?

    PubMed

    Abrahamse, Elger; van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Fias, Wim

    2016-01-01

    Number-space associations are a robust observation, but their underlying mechanisms remain debated. Two major accounts have been identified. First, spatial codes may constitute an intrinsic part of number representations stored in the brain - a perspective most commonly referred to as the Mental Number Line account. Second, spatial codes may be generated at the level of working memory when number (or other) representations are coordinated in function of a specific task. The aim of the current paper is twofold. First, whereas a pure Mental Number Line account cannot capture the complexity of observations reported in the literature, we here explore if and how a pure working memory account can suffice. Second, we make explicit (more than in our earlier work) the potential building blocks of such a working memory account, thereby providing clear and concrete foci for empirical efforts to test the feasibility of the account. PMID:27445937

  8. Dopamine D1 signaling organizes network dynamics underlying working memory

    PubMed Central

    Roffman, Joshua L.; Tanner, Alexandra S.; Eryilmaz, Hamdi; Rodriguez-Thompson, Anais; Silverstein, Noah J.; Ho, New Fei; Nitenson, Adam Z.; Chonde, Daniel B.; Greve, Douglas N.; Abi-Dargham, Anissa; Buckner, Randy L.; Manoach, Dara S.; Rosen, Bruce R.; Hooker, Jacob M.; Catana, Ciprian

    2016-01-01

    Local prefrontal dopamine signaling supports working memory by tuning pyramidal neurons to task-relevant stimuli. Enabled by simultaneous positron emission tomography–magnetic resonance imaging (PET-MRI), we determined whether neuromodulatory effects of dopamine scale to the level of cortical networks and coordinate their interplay during working memory. Among network territories, mean cortical D1 receptor densities differed substantially but were strongly interrelated, suggesting cross-network regulation. Indeed, mean cortical D1 density predicted working memory–emergent decoupling of the frontoparietal and default networks, which respectively manage task-related and internal stimuli. In contrast, striatal D1 predicted opposing effects within these two networks but no between-network effects. These findings specifically link cortical dopamine signaling to network crosstalk that redirects cognitive resources to working memory, echoing neuromodulatory effects of D1 signaling on the level of cortical microcircuits. PMID:27386561

  9. Failure of working memory training to enhance cognition or intelligence.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Todd W; Waskom, Michael L; Garel, Keri-Lee A; Cardenas-Iniguez, Carlos; Reynolds, Gretchen O; Winter, Rebecca; Chang, Patricia; Pollard, Kiersten; Lala, Nupur; Alvarez, George A; Gabrieli, John D E

    2013-01-01

    Fluid intelligence is important for successful functioning in the modern world, but much evidence suggests that fluid intelligence is largely immutable after childhood. Recently, however, researchers have reported gains in fluid intelligence after multiple sessions of adaptive working memory training in adults. The current study attempted to replicate and expand those results by administering a broad assessment of cognitive abilities and personality traits to young adults who underwent 20 sessions of an adaptive dual n-back working memory training program and comparing their post-training performance on those tests to a matched set of young adults who underwent 20 sessions of an adaptive attentional tracking program. Pre- and post-training measurements of fluid intelligence, standardized intelligence tests, speed of processing, reading skills, and other tests of working memory were assessed. Both training groups exhibited substantial and specific improvements on the trained tasks that persisted for at least 6 months post-training, but no transfer of improvement was observed to any of the non-trained measurements when compared to a third untrained group serving as a passive control. These findings fail to support the idea that adaptive working memory training in healthy young adults enhances working memory capacity in non-trained tasks, fluid intelligence, or other measures of cognitive abilities.

  10. Hippocampal-prefrontal input supports spatial encoding in working memory.

    PubMed

    Spellman, Timothy; Rigotti, Mattia; Ahmari, Susanne E; Fusi, Stefano; Gogos, Joseph A; Gordon, Joshua A

    2015-06-18

    Spatial working memory, the caching of behaviourally relevant spatial cues on a timescale of seconds, is a fundamental constituent of cognition. Although the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are known to contribute jointly to successful spatial working memory, the anatomical pathway and temporal window for the interaction of these structures critical to spatial working memory has not yet been established. Here we find that direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferents are critical for encoding, but not for maintenance or retrieval, of spatial cues in mice. These cues are represented by the activity of individual prefrontal units in a manner that is dependent on hippocampal input only during the cue-encoding phase of a spatial working memory task. Successful encoding of these cues appears to be mediated by gamma-frequency synchrony between the two structures. These findings indicate a critical role for the direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferent pathway in the continuous updating of task-related spatial information during spatial working memory. PMID:26053122

  11. Working memory failures in children with arithmetical difficulties.

    PubMed

    Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2008-09-01

    A large body of literature has examined the relationship between working memory and arithmetic achievement, but results are still ambiguous. To examine this relationship, we compared the performance of third and fifth graders with arithmetic difficulties (AD) and controls of the same age, grade, and verbal intelligence on a battery of working memory tasks, differentiating between different aspects of working memory. Children with AD scored significantly lower on active working memory tasks requiring manipulation of the to-be-recalled information (Listening Completion task, Corsi Span Backwards, Digit Backwards), but not in passive working memory tasks, requiring the recall of information in the same format in which it had been presented (Digit, Word, and Corsi Forwards Span tasks), nor in tasks involving word processing (word articulation rate, forwards and backwards word spans). A regression analysis showed that the best predictors of differences between AD children and the control group were the Corsi Span Backwards, the Listening Completion task, and the rate of articulation of pseudowords. The analysis of strategies used by children in mental calculation revealed the greater tendency of children with AD to rely on more primitive strategies: finger use never appeared as the most frequent strategy in skilled children, whereas it was the most used strategy in children with AD. Verbal and visual strategies appeared associated with successful performance in third graders, but in fifth grade, the most successful strategy was verbalization. PMID:18608224

  12. Searching while loaded: Visual working memory does not interfere with hybrid search efficiency but hybrid search uses working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Drew, Trafton; Boettcher, Sage E P; Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2016-02-01

    In "hybrid search" tasks, such as finding items on a grocery list, one must search the scene for targets while also searching the list in memory. How is the representation of a visual item compared with the representations of items in the memory set? Predominant theories would propose a role for visual working memory (VWM) either as the site of the comparison or as a conduit between visual and memory systems. In seven experiments, we loaded VWM in different ways and found little or no effect on hybrid search performance. However, the presence of a hybrid search task did reduce the measured capacity of VWM by a constant amount regardless of the size of the memory or visual sets. These data are broadly consistent with an account in which VWM must dedicate a fixed amount of its capacity to passing visual representations to long-term memory for comparison to the items in the memory set. The data cast doubt on models in which the search template resides in VWM or where memory set item representations are moved from LTM through VWM to earlier areas for comparison to visual items.

  13. Working memory and reference memory tests of spatial navigation in mice (Mus musculus).

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang Ah; Tucci, Valter; Sovrano, Valeria Anna; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2015-05-01

    Researchers in spatial cognition have debated for decades the specificity of the mechanisms through which spatial information is processed and stored. Interestingly, although rodents are the preferred animal model for studying spatial navigation, the behavioral methods traditionally used to assess spatial memory do not effectively test the predictions of specificity in their representation. To address such issues, the present study tested the ability of mice to use boundary geometry and features to remember a goal location across 2 types of tasks--a working memory task with a changing goal location, and a reference memory task with 1 rewarded goal location. We show for the first time that mice, like other animals, can successfully encode boundary geometry in a working memory spatial mapping task, just as they do in a reference memory task. Their use of a nongeometric featural cue (striped pattern), in contrast, was more limited in the working memory task, although it quickly improved in the reference memory task. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research on the neural and genetic underpinnings of spatial representations.

  14. Genetic moderation of the effects of cannabis: catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) affects the impact of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on working memory performance but not on the occurrence of psychotic experiences.

    PubMed

    Tunbridge, Elizabeth M; Dunn, Graham; Murray, Robin M; Evans, Nicole; Lister, Rachel; Stumpenhorst, Katharina; Harrison, Paul J; Morrison, Paul D; Freeman, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    Cannabis use can induce cognitive impairments and psychotic experiences. A functional polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val(158)Met) appears to influence the immediate cognitive and psychotic effects of cannabis, or ∆(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), its primary psychoactive ingredient. This study investigated the moderation of the impact of experimentally administered THC by COMT. Cognitive performance and psychotic experiences were studied in participants without a psychiatric diagnosis, using a between-subjects design (THC vs. placebo). The effect of COMT Val(158)Met genotype on the cognitive and psychotic effects of THC, administered intravenously in a double-blind, placebo-controlled manner to 78 participants who were vulnerable to paranoia, was examined. The results showed interactive effects of genotype and drug group (THC or placebo) on working memory, assayed using the Digit Span Backwards task. Specifically, THC impaired performance in COMT Val/Val, but not Met, carriers. In contrast, the effect of THC on psychotic experiences, measured using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) positive dimension, was unaffected by COMT genotype. This study is the largest to date examining the impact of COMT genotype on response to experimentally administered THC, and the first using a purely non-clinical cohort. The data suggest that COMT genotype moderates the cognitive, but not the psychotic, effects of acutely administered THC.

  15. Rapid-Eye-Movement-Sleep (REM) Associated Enhancement of Working Memory Performance after a Daytime Nap.

    PubMed

    Lau, Esther Yuet Ying; Wong, Mark Lawrence; Lau, Kristy Nga Ting; Hui, Florence Wai Ying; Tseng, Chia-huei

    2015-01-01

    The main objective was to study the impact of a daytime sleep opportunity on working memory and the mechanism behind such impact. This study adopted an experimental design in a sleep research laboratory. Eighty healthy college students (Age:17-23, 36 males) were randomized to either have a polysomnography-monitored daytime sleep opportunity (Nap-group, n=40) or stay awake (Wake-group, n=40) between the two assessment sessions. All participants completed a sleep diary and wore an actigraph-watch for 5 days before and one day after the assessment sessions. They completed the state-measurement of sleepiness and affect, in addition to a psychomotor vigilance test and a working memory task before and after the nap/wake sessions. The two groups did not differ in their sleep characteristics prior to and after the lab visit. The Nap-group had higher accuracy on the working memory task, fewer lapses on the psychomotor vigilance test and lower state-sleepiness than the Wake-group. Within the Nap-group, working memory accuracy was positively correlated with duration of rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and total sleep time during the nap. Our findings suggested that "sleep gain" during a daytime sleep opportunity had significant positive impact on working memory performance, without affecting subsequent nighttime sleep in young adult, and such impact was associated with the duration of REM. While REM abnormality has long been noted in pathological conditions (e.g. depression), which are also presented with cognitive dysfunctions (e.g. working memory deficits), this was the first evidence showing working memory enhancement associated with REM in daytime napping in college students, who likely had habitual short sleep duration but were otherwise generally healthy. PMID:25970511

  16. Rapid-Eye-Movement-Sleep (REM) Associated Enhancement of Working Memory Performance after a Daytime Nap

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Kristy Nga Ting; Hui, Florence Wai Ying; Tseng, Chia-huei

    2015-01-01

    The main objective was to study the impact of a daytime sleep opportunity on working memory and the mechanism behind such impact. This study adopted an experimental design in a sleep research laboratory. Eighty healthy college students (Age:17-23, 36 males) were randomized to either have a polysomnography-monitored daytime sleep opportunity (Nap-group, n=40) or stay awake (Wake-group, n=40) between the two assessment sessions. All participants completed a sleep diary and wore an actigraph-watch for 5 days before and one day after the assessment sessions. They completed the state-measurement of sleepiness and affect, in addition to a psychomotor vigilance test and a working memory task before and after the nap/wake sessions. The two groups did not differ in their sleep characteristics prior to and after the lab visit. The Nap-group had higher accuracy on the working memory task, fewer lapses on the psychomotor vigilance test and lower state-sleepiness than the Wake-group. Within the Nap-group, working memory accuracy was positively correlated with duration of rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and total sleep time during the nap. Our findings suggested that “sleep gain” during a daytime sleep opportunity had significant positive impact on working memory performance, without affecting subsequent nighttime sleep in young adult, and such impact was associated with the duration of REM. While REM abnormality has long been noted in pathological conditions (e.g. depression), which are also presented with cognitive dysfunctions (e.g. working memory deficits), this was the first evidence showing working memory enhancement associated with REM in daytime napping in college students, who likely had habitual short sleep duration but were otherwise generally healthy. PMID:25970511

  17. Rapid-Eye-Movement-Sleep (REM) Associated Enhancement of Working Memory Performance after a Daytime Nap.

    PubMed

    Lau, Esther Yuet Ying; Wong, Mark Lawrence; Lau, Kristy Nga Ting; Hui, Florence Wai Ying; Tseng, Chia-huei

    2015-01-01

    The main objective was to study the impact of a daytime sleep opportunity on working memory and the mechanism behind such impact. This study adopted an experimental design in a sleep research laboratory. Eighty healthy college students (Age:17-23, 36 males) were randomized to either have a polysomnography-monitored daytime sleep opportunity (Nap-group, n=40) or stay awake (Wake-group, n=40) between the two assessment sessions. All participants completed a sleep diary and wore an actigraph-watch for 5 days before and one day after the assessment sessions. They completed the state-measurement of sleepiness and affect, in addition to a psychomotor vigilance test and a working memory task before and after the nap/wake sessions. The two groups did not differ in their sleep characteristics prior to and after the lab visit. The Nap-group had higher accuracy on the working memory task, fewer lapses on the psychomotor vigilance test and lower state-sleepiness than the Wake-group. Within the Nap-group, working memory accuracy was positively correlated with duration of rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and total sleep time during the nap. Our findings suggested that "sleep gain" during a daytime sleep opportunity had significant positive impact on working memory performance, without affecting subsequent nighttime sleep in young adult, and such impact was associated with the duration of REM. While REM abnormality has long been noted in pathological conditions (e.g. depression), which are also presented with cognitive dysfunctions (e.g. working memory deficits), this was the first evidence showing working memory enhancement associated with REM in daytime napping in college students, who likely had habitual short sleep duration but were otherwise generally healthy.

  18. Working memory and decision processes in visual area v4.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Benjamin Y; Gallant, Jack L

    2013-01-01

    Recognizing and responding to a remembered stimulus requires the coordination of perception, working memory, and decision-making. To investigate the role of visual cortex in these processes, we recorded responses of single V4 neurons during performance of a delayed match-to-sample task that incorporates rapid serial visual presentation of natural images. We found that neuronal activity during the delay period after the cue but before the images depends on the identity of the remembered image and that this change persists while distractors appear. This persistent response modulation has been identified as a diagnostic criterion for putative working memory signals; our data thus suggest that working memory may involve reactivation of sensory neurons. When the remembered image reappears in the neuron's receptive field, visually evoked responses are enhanced; this match enhancement is a diagnostic criterion for decision. One model that predicts these data is the matched filter hypothesis, which holds that during search V4 neurons change their tuning so as to match the remembered cue, and thus become detectors for that image. More generally, these results suggest that V4 neurons participate in the perceptual, working memory, and decision processes that are needed to perform memory-guided decision-making.

  19. A neural measure of precision in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Ester, Edward F; Anderson, David E; Serences, John T; Awh, Edward

    2013-05-01

    Recent studies suggest that the temporary storage of visual detail in working memory is mediated by sensory recruitment or sustained patterns of stimulus-specific activation within feature-selective regions of visual cortex. According to a strong version of this hypothesis, the relative "quality" of these patterns should determine the clarity of an individual's memory. Here, we provide a direct test of this claim. We used fMRI and a forward encoding model to characterize population-level orientation-selective responses in visual cortex while human participants held an oriented grating in memory. This analysis, which enables a precise quantitative description of multivoxel, population-level activity measured during working memory storage, revealed graded response profiles whose amplitudes were greatest for the remembered orientation and fell monotonically as the angular distance from this orientation increased. Moreover, interparticipant differences in the dispersion-but not the amplitude-of these response profiles were strongly correlated with performance on a concurrent memory recall task. These findings provide important new evidence linking the precision of sustained population-level responses in visual cortex and memory acuity.

  20. V. NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB): measuring working memory.

    PubMed

    Tulsky, David S; Carlozzi, Noelle E; Chevalier, Nicolas; Espy, Kimberly A; Beaumont, Jennifer L; Mungas, Dan

    2013-08-01

    This chapter focuses on the NIH Toolbox List Sorting Working Memory Test, which was developed to assess processing speed within the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB). This test is a sequencing task requiring children and adults to process stimuli (presented both visually and auditorily) and sequence the stimuli according to size. We describe the development of the NIH Toolbox List Sorting Working Memory Test, highlighting its utility in children. We examine descriptive data, test-retest reliability, and convergent and discriminant validity. Results indicated that List Sorting performance was positively correlated with age indicating that performance on the task improved throughout childhood and early adolescence. Further, test-retest reliability coefficients were high and there was support for both convergent and discriminant validity. These data suggest that the NIH Toolbox List Sorting Working Memory Test is reliable and shows evidence of construct validity.

  1. Working Memory and the Revision of Syntactic and Discourse Ambiguities

    PubMed Central

    Evans, William S.; Caplan, David; Ostrowski, Adam; Michaud, Jennifer; Guarino, Anthony; Waters, Gloria

    2015-01-01

    Two hundred participants, 50 in each of four age ranges (19 – 29; 30 – 49, 50 – 69, 70 – 90) were tested for short term working memory, speed of processing and on-line processing of three types of sentences in which an initially assigned syntactic structure and/or semantic interpretation had to be revised. Self-paced reading times were longer for the segments which signaled the need for revision, and there were interactions of age and sentence type and of speed of processing and sentence type, but not of working memory and sentence type, on reading times for these segments. The results provide evidence that working memory does not support the processes that revise the structure and interpretation of sentences and discourse. PMID:25485458

  2. Individual differences in working memory capacity and workload capacity

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Ju-Chi; Chang, Ting-Yun; Yang, Cheng-Ta

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and workload capacity (WLC). Each participant performed an operation span (OSPAN) task to measure his/her WMC and three redundant-target detection tasks to measure his/her WLC. WLC was computed non-parametrically (Experiments 1 and 2) and parametrically (Experiment 2). Both levels of analyses showed that participants high in WMC had larger WLC than those low in WMC only when redundant information came from visual and auditory modalities, suggesting that high-WMC participants had superior processing capacity in dealing with redundant visual and auditory information. This difference was eliminated when multiple processes required processing for only a single working memory subsystem in a color-shape detection task and a double-dot detection task. These results highlighted the role of executive control in integrating and binding information from the two working memory subsystems for perceptual decision making. PMID:25566143

  3. When do negative and positive emotions modulate working memory performance?

    PubMed Central

    Osaka, Mariko; Yaoi, Ken; Minamoto, Takehiro; Osaka, Naoyuki

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated when emotion modulates working memory from the perspective of neural activation. Using fMRI, we measured brain activity during the encoding and retrieval phases of a reading span test (RST) that used emotional contexts. The emotional RST required participants to read sentences that elicited negative, neural or positive emotional states while they were memorizing target words from the sentences. Compared with the neutral RST, the negative RST activated the right amygdala during the reading phase. Significant activation was also found in the parahippocampal gyrus, albeit only after activation of the amygdala became comparable to that in the neutral RST. In contrast, the positive RST activated the substantia nigra during the reading phase relative to the neutral RST. These findings suggest that negative and positive emotions modulate working memory through distinctive neural circuits. We also discuss possible relationships between emotional modulation and working memory capacity. PMID:23459220

  4. Knowledge Cannot Explain the Developmental Growth of Working Memory Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Nelson; Ricker, Timothy J.; Clark, Katherine M.; Hinrichs, Garrett A.; Glass, Bret A.

    2014-01-01

    According to some views of cognitive growth, the development of working memory capacity can account for increases in the complexity of cognition. It has been difficult to ascertain, though, that there actually is developmental growth in capacity that cannot be attributed to other developing factors. Here we assess the role of item familiarity. We document developmental increases in working memory for visual arrays of English letters versus unfamiliar characters. Although letter knowledge played a special role in development between the ages of 6 to 8 years, children with adequate letter knowledge showed practically the same developmental growth in normalized functions for letters and unfamiliar characters. The results contribute to a growing body of evidence that the developmental improvement in working memory does not wholly stem from supporting processes such as encoding, mnemonic strategies, and knowledge. PMID:24942111

  5. Limited Near and Far Transfer Effects of Jungle Memory Working Memory Training on Learning Mathematics in Children with Attentional and Mathematical Difficulties

    PubMed Central

    Nelwan, Michel; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this randomized controlled trial was to investigate whether Jungle Memory working memory training (JM) affects performance on working memory tasks, performance in mathematics and gains made on a mathematics training (MT) in school aged children between 9–12 years old (N = 64) with both difficulties in mathematics, as well as attention and working memory. Children were randomly assigned to three groups and were trained in two periods: (1) JM first, followed by MT, (2) MT first, followed by JM, and (3) a control group that received MT only. Bayesian analyses showed possible short term effects of JM on near transfer measures of verbal working memory, but none on visual working memory. Furthermore, support was found for the hypothesis that children that received JM first, performed better after MT than children who did not follow JM first or did not train with JM at all. However, these effects could be explained at least partly by frequency of training effects, possibly due to motivational issues, and training-specific factors. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether the effects found on improving mathematics were actually mediated by gains in working memory. It is argued that JM might not train the components of working memory involved in mathematics sufficiently. Another possible explanation can be found in the training’s lack of adaptivity, therefore failing to provide the children with tailored instruction and feedback. Finally, it was hypothesized that, since effect sizes are generally small, training effects are bound to a critical period in development. PMID:27708595

  6. Contextual effects in visual working memory reveal hierarchically structured memory representations.

    PubMed

    Brady, Timothy F; Alvarez, George A

    2015-01-01

    Influential slot and resource models of visual working memory make the assumption that items are stored in memory as independent units, and that there are no interactions between them. Consequently, these models predict that the number of items to be remembered (the set size) is the primary determinant of working memory performance, and therefore these models quantify memory capacity in terms of the number and quality of individual items that can be stored. Here we demonstrate that there is substantial variance in display difficulty within a single set size, suggesting that limits based on the number of individual items alone cannot explain working memory storage. We asked hundreds of participants to remember the same sets of displays, and discovered that participants were highly consistent in terms of which items and displays were hardest or easiest to remember. Although a simple grouping or chunking strategy could not explain this individual-display variability, a model with multiple, interacting levels of representation could explain some of the display-by-display differences. Specifically, a model that includes a hierarchical representation of items plus the mean and variance of sets of the colors on the display successfully accounts for some of the variability across displays. We conclude that working memory representations are composed only in part of individual, independent object representations, and that a major factor in how many items are remembered on a particular display is interitem representations such as perceptual grouping, ensemble, and texture representations. PMID:26575192

  7. Models of Verbal Working Memory Capacity: What Does It Take to Make Them Work?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Rouder, Jeffrey N.; Blume, Christopher L.; Saults, J. Scott

    2012-01-01

    Theories of working memory (WM) capacity limits will be more useful when we know what aspects of performance are governed by the limits and what aspects are governed by other memory mechanisms. Whereas considerable progress has been made on models of WM capacity limits for visual arrays of separate objects, less progress has been made in…

  8. Gender Differences in Self-Reported Symptomatology and Working Memory in College Students with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kercood, Suneeta; Lineweaver, Tara T.; Kugler, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine gender differences in self-reported symptomatology and working memory (visuospatial and auditory) in college students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Forty-seven college students with ADHD and 44 non-affected control participants completed two self-report questionnaires and six tests…

  9. Developmental Change in Proactive Interference across the Life Span: Evidence from Two Working Memory Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loosli, Sandra V.; Rahm, Benjamin; Unterrainer, Josef M.; Weiller, Cornelius; Kaller, Christoph P.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) as the ability to temporarily maintain and manipulate various kinds of information is known to be affected by proactive interference (PI) from previously relevant contents, but studies on developmental changes in the susceptibility to PI are scarce. In the present study, we investigated life span development of item-specific…

  10. Selective Interference on the Holistic Processing of Faces in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Olivia S.; Gauthier, Isabel

    2010-01-01

    Faces and objects of expertise compete for early perceptual processes and holistic processing resources (Gauthier, Curran, Curby, & Collins, 2003). Here, we examined the nature of interference on holistic face processing in working memory by comparing how various types of loads affect selective attention to parts of face composites. In dual tasks,…

  11. Dynamics of the Human Structural Connectome Underlying Working Memory Training

    PubMed Central

    Metzler-Baddeley, Claudia; Foley, Sonya; Jones, Derek K.

    2016-01-01

    Brain region-specific changes have been demonstrated with a variety of cognitive training interventions. The effect of cognitive training on brain subnetworks in humans, however, remains largely unknown, with studies limited to functional networks. Here, we used a well-established working memory training program and state-of-the art neuroimaging methods in 40 healthy adults (21 females, mean age 26.5 years). Near and far-transfer training effects were assessed using computerized working memory and executive function tasks. Adaptive working memory training led to improvement on (non)trained working memory tasks and generalization to tasks of reasoning and inhibition. Graph theoretical analysis of the structural (white matter) network connectivity (“connectome”) revealed increased global integration within a frontoparietal attention network following adaptive working memory training compared with the nonadaptive group. Furthermore, the impact on the outcome of graph theoretical analyses of different white matter metrics to infer “connection strength” was evaluated. Increased efficiency of the frontoparietal network was best captured when using connection strengths derived from MR metrics that are thought to be more sensitive to differences in myelination (putatively indexed by the [quantitative] longitudinal relaxation rate, R1) than previously used diffusion MRI metrics (fractional anisotropy or fiber-tracking recovered streamlines). Our findings emphasize the critical role of specific microstructural markers in providing important hints toward the mechanisms underpinning training-induced plasticity that may drive working memory improvement in clinical populations. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This is the first study to explore training-induced changes in the structural connectome using a well-controlled design to examine cognitive training with up-to-date neuroimaging methods. We found changes in global integration based on white matter connectivity within a

  12. Grammatical sensitivity and working memory in children with language impairment

    PubMed Central

    Marton, Klara; Campanelli, Luca; Farkas, Lajos

    2013-01-01

    Children with primary language impairment (LI) show a deficit in processing different grammatical structures, verb inflections, and syntactically complex sentences among other things (Clahsen–Hansen 1997; Leonard et al. 1997). Cross-linguistic research has shown that the pattern of performance is language-specific. We examined grammatical sensitivity to word order and agreement violations in 50 Hungarian-speaking children with and without LI. The findings suggest a strong association between sensitivity to grammatical violations and working memory capacity. Variations in working memory performance predicted grammatical sensitivity. Hungarian participants with LI exhibited a weakness in detecting both agreement and word order violations. PMID:23440891

  13. Insights from neuropsychology: pinpointing the role of the posterior parietal cortex in episodic and working memory

    PubMed Central

    Berryhill, Marian E.

    2012-01-01

    The role of posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in various forms of memory is a current topic of interest in the broader field of cognitive neuroscience. This large cortical region has been linked with a wide range of mnemonic functions affecting each stage of memory processing: encoding, maintenance, and retrieval. Yet, the precise role of the PPC in memory remains mysterious and controversial. Progress in understanding PPC function will require researchers to incorporate findings in a convergent manner from multiple experimental techniques rather than emphasizing a particular type of data. To facilitate this process, here, we review findings from the human neuropsychological research and examine the consequences to memory following PPC damage. Recent patient-based research findings have investigated two typically disconnected fields: working memory (WM) and episodic memory. The findings from patient participants with unilateral and bilateral PPC lesions performing diverse experimental paradigms are summarized. These findings are then related to findings from other techniques including neurostimulation (TMS and tDCS) and the influential and more abundant functional neuroimaging literature. We then review the strengths and weaknesses of hypotheses proposed to account for PPC function in these forms of memory. Finally, we address what missing evidence is needed to clarify the role(s) of the PPC in memory. PMID:22701406

  14. The Effects of Feature-Based Priming and Visual Working Memory on Oculomotor Capture

    PubMed Central

    Silvis, Jeroen D.; Belopolsky, Artem V.; Murris, Jozua W. I.; Donk, Mieke

    2015-01-01

    Recently, it has been demonstrated that objects held in working memory can influence rapid oculomotor selection. This has been taken as evidence that perceptual salience can be modified by active working memory representations. The goal of the present study was to examine whether these results could also be caused by feature-based priming. In two experiments, participants were asked to saccade to a target line segment of a certain orientation that was presented together with a to-be-ignored distractor. Both objects were given a task-irrelevant color that varied per trial. In a secondary task, a color had to be memorized, and that color could either match the color of the target, match the color of the distractor, or it did not match the color of any of the objects in the search task. The memory task was completed either after the search task (Experiment 1), or before it (Experiment 2). The results showed that in both experiments the memorized color biased oculomotor selection. Eye movements were more frequently drawn towards objects that matched the memorized color, irrespective of whether the memory task was completed after (Experiment 1) or before (Experiment 2) the search task. This bias was particularly prevalent in short-latency saccades. The results show that early oculomotor selection performance is not only affected by properties that are actively maintained in working memory but also by those previously memorized. Both working memory and feature priming can cause early biases in oculomotor selection. PMID:26566137

  15. Working memory deficits in children with specific learning disorders.

    PubMed

    Schuchardt, Kirsten; Maehler, Claudia; Hasselhorn, Marcus

    2008-01-01

    This article examines working memory functioning in children with specific developmental disorders of scholastic skills as defined by ICD-10. Ninety-seven second to fourth graders with a minimum IQ of 80 are compared using a 2 x 2 factorial (dyscalculia vs. no dyscalculia; dyslexia vs. no dyslexia) design. An extensive test battery assesses the three subcomponents of working memory described by Baddeley (1986): phonological loop, visual-spatial sketchpad, and central executive. Children with dyscalculia show deficits in visual-spatial memory; children with dyslexia show deficits in phonological and central executive functioning. When controlling for the influence of the phonological loop on the performance of the central executive, however, the effect is no longer significant. Although children with both reading and arithmetic disorders are consistently outperformed by all other groups, there is no significant interaction between the factors dyscalculia and dyslexia. PMID:18625783

  16. Top-down modulation: Bridging selective attention and working memory

    PubMed Central

    Gazzaley, Adam; Nobre, Anna C.

    2012-01-01

    Selective attention, the ability to focus our cognitive resources on information relevant to our goals, influences working memory (WM) performance. Indeed, attention and working memory are increasingly viewed as overlapping constructs. Here, we review recent evidence from human neurophysiological studies demonstrating that top-down modulation serves as a common neural mechanism underlying these two cognitive operations. The core features include activity modulation in stimulus-selective sensory cortices with concurrent engagement of prefrontal and parietal control regions that function as sources of top-down signals. Notably, top-down modulation is engaged during both stimulus-present and stimulus-absent stages of WM tasks, i.e., expectation of an ensuing stimulus to be remembered, selection and encoding of stimuli, maintenance of relevant information in mind and memory retrieval. PMID:22209601

  17. Heterogeneity of Auditory Verbal Working Memory in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Bruder, Gerard E.; Alschuler, Daniel M.; Kroppmann, Christopher J.; Fekri, Shiva; Gil, Roberto; Jarskog, Lars F.; Harkavy-Friedman, Jill M.; Goetz, Raymond; Kayser, Jürgen; Wexler, Bruce E.

    2011-01-01

    The heterogeneity of schizophrenia remains an obstacle for understanding its pathophysiology. Studies using a tone discrimination screening test to classify patients have found evidence for two subgroups having either a specific deficit in verbal working memory (WM) or deficits on both verbal and nonverbal memory tests. This study aimed to: (1) replicate in larger samples differences between these subgroups on the word serial position test (WSPT); (2) further evaluate their performance on additional tests of verbal WM, explicit memory, and sustained attention; (3) determine the relation of verbal WM deficits to auditory hallucinations and other symptoms; and (4) examine medication effects. WSPT of verbal WM and tone discrimination performance did not differ between medicated (n=45) and unmedicated (n=38) patients. Patients with schizophrenia who passed the auditory screening test (discriminators, n=60) were compared to those who did not (nondiscriminators, n=23), and healthy controls (n=47). The discriminator subgroup showed poorer verbal WM than controls and a deficit in verbal but not visual memory on Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised, whereas the nondiscriminator subgroup showed overall poorer performance on both verbal and nonverbal tests and a marked deficit in sustained attention. Verbal WM deficits in discriminators on WSPT were correlated with auditory hallucinations but not with negative symptoms. The results are consistent with a verbal memory deficit in a subgroup of schizophrenia having intact auditory perception, which may stem from dysfunction of language-related cortical regions, and a more generalized cognitive deficit in a subgroup having auditory perceptual and attentional dysfunction. PMID:21319926

  18. Neural suppression of irrelevant information underlies optimal working memory performance

    PubMed Central

    Zanto, Theodore P.; Gazzaley, Adam

    2009-01-01

    Our ability to focus attention on task-relevant information and ignore distractions is reflected by differential enhancement and suppression of neural activity in sensory cortex (i.e., top-down modulation). Such selective, goal-directed modulation of activity may be intimately related to memory, such that the focus of attention biases the likelihood of successfully maintaining relevant information by limiting interference from irrelevant stimuli. Despite recent studies elucidating the mechanistic overlap between attention and memory, the relationship between top-down modulation of visual processing during working memory (WM) encoding and subsequent recognition performance has not yet been established. Here, we provide neurophysiological evidence in healthy, young adults that top-down modulation of early visual processing (< 200 ms from stimulus onset) is intimately related to subsequent WM performance, such that the likelihood of successfully remembering relevant information is associated with limiting interference from irrelevant stimuli. The consequences of a failure to ignore distractors on recognition performance was replicated for two types of feature-based memory, motion direction and color. Moreover, attention to irrelevant stimuli was reflected neurally during the WM maintenance period as an increased memory load. These results suggest that neural enhancement of relevant information is not the primary determinant of high-level performance, but rather, optimal WM performance is dependent on effectively filtering irrelevant information through neural suppression to prevent overloading a limited memory capacity. PMID:19279242

  19. Positive feelings facilitate working memory and complex decision making among older adults.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Stephanie M; Peters, Ellen; Västfjäll, Daniel; Isen, Alice M

    2013-01-01

    The impact of induced mild positive feelings on working memory and complex decision making among older adults (aged 63-85) was examined. Participants completed a computer administered card task in which participants could win money if they chose from "gain" decks and lose money if they chose from "loss" decks. Individuals in the positive-feeling condition chose better than neutral-feeling participants and earned more money overall. Participants in the positive-feeling condition also demonstrated improved working-memory capacity. These effects of positive-feeling induction have implications for affect theory, as well as, potentially, practical implications for people of all ages dealing with complex decisions. PMID:22764739

  20. Dissociated Mechanisms of Extracting Perceptual Information into Visual Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Zaifeng; Li, Jie; Yin, Jun; Shen, Mowei

    2010-01-01

    Background The processing mechanisms of visual working memory (VWM) have been extensively explored in the recent decade. However, how the perceptual information is extracted into VWM remains largely unclear. The current study investigated this issue by testing whether the perceptual information was extracted into VWM via an integrated-object manner so that all the irrelevant information would be extracted (object hypothesis), or via a feature-based manner so that only the target-relevant information would be extracted (feature hypothesis), or via an analogous processing manner as that in visual perception (analogy hypothesis). Methodology/Principal Findings High-discriminable information which is processed at the parallel stage of visual perception and fine-grained information which is processed via focal attention were selected as the representatives of perceptual information. The analogy hypothesis predicted that whereas high-discriminable information is extracted into VWM automatically, fine-grained information will be extracted only if it is task-relevant. By manipulating the information type of the irrelevant dimension in a change-detection task, we found that the performance was affected and the ERP component N270 was enhanced if a change between the probe and the memorized stimulus consisted of irrelevant high-discriminable information, but not if it consisted of irrelevant fine-grained information. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that dissociated extraction mechanisms exist in VWM for information resolved via dissociated processes in visual perception (at least for the information tested in the current study), supporting the analogy hypothesis. PMID:21170315

  1. Spatial working memory and hippocampal size across pregnancy in rats.

    PubMed

    Galea, L A; Ormerod, B K; Sampath, S; Kostaras, X; Wilkie, D M; Phelps, M T

    2000-02-01

    The present experiments investigated the effects of pregnancy on performance in the Morris water maze and on hippocampal volume. In the first study, pregnant rats (in between the first and second trimester) outperformed nonpregnant rats on the Morris water maze on 1 day of testing. In the second study, rats were tested in a working memory variation of the maze in which the spatial location of the platform varied. Pregnant females traveled shorter distances than nonpregnant females during the first two trimesters, but performed worse than nonpregnant females during the third trimester. Latency measures showed a similar profile. Group differences in performance were not related to changes in swim speed. However, changes in performance in pregnant females may be related to estrogen, progesterone, and/or corticosterone levels during pregnancy, with low levels of estradiol and high levels of progesterone being associated with better performance. There were no significant differences between pregnant and nonpregnant animals on any of the brain measures, although pregnant animals tended to have a smaller hippocampus than nonpregnant animals. These results indicate that pregnancy can affect performance, possibly related to the hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy.

  2. Musicians' working memory for tones, words, and pseudowords.

    PubMed

    Benassi-Werke, Mariana E; Queiroz, Marcelo; Araújo, Rúben S; Bueno, Orlando F A; Oliveira, Maria Gabriela M

    2012-01-01

    Studies investigating factors that influence tone recognition generally use recognition tests, whereas the majority of the studies on verbal material use self-generated responses in the form of serial recall tests. In the present study we intended to investigate whether tonal and verbal materials share the same cognitive mechanisms, by presenting an experimental instrument that evaluates short-term and working memories for tones, using self-generated sung responses that may be compared to verbal tests. This paradigm was designed according to the same structure of the forward and backward digit span tests, but using digits, pseudowords, and tones as stimuli. The profile of amateur singers and professional singers in these tests was compared in forward and backward digit, pseudoword, tone, and contour spans. In addition, an absolute pitch experimental group was included, in order to observe the possible use of verbal labels in tone memorization tasks. In general, we observed that musical schooling has a slight positive influence on the recall of tones, as opposed to verbal material, which is not influenced by musical schooling. Furthermore, the ability to reproduce melodic contours (up and down patterns) is generally higher than the ability to reproduce exact tone sequences. However, backward spans were lower than forward spans for all stimuli (digits, pseudowords, tones, contour). Curiously, backward spans were disproportionately lower for tones than for verbal material-that is, the requirement to recall sequences in backward rather than forward order seems to differentially affect tonal stimuli. This difference does not vary according to musical expertise.

  3. Working Memory Resources and Interference in Directed Forgetting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soriano, Maria Felipa; Bajo, Maria Teresa

    2007-01-01

    Recent research has shown that the ability to inhibit irrelevant information is related to Working Memory (WM) capacity. In three experiments, we explored this relationship by using a list-method directed-forgetting task (DF) in participants varying in WM capacity. Contrary to predictions, in Experiment 1, DF effects were only found for…

  4. Working Memory Training: Improving Intelligence--Changing Brain Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert; Jausovec, Ksenija

    2012-01-01

    The main objectives of the study were: to investigate whether training on working memory (WM) could improve fluid intelligence, and to investigate the effects WM training had on neuroelectric (electroencephalography--EEG) and hemodynamic (near-infrared spectroscopy--NIRS) patterns of brain activity. In a parallel group experimental design,…

  5. Reasoning and Working Memory as Predictors of School Grades

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krumm, Stefan; Ziegler, Matthias; Buehner, Markus

    2008-01-01

    The present paper contributes to individual difference research in the field of working memory (WM) and reasoning and their contribution to the prediction of real-life criteria. Therefore, a broad WM test battery, a well-established measure of reasoning, and school grades were applied. It is argued that abilities as assessed with the WM component…

  6. Spatial Working Memory Is Necessary for Actions to Guide Thought

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Laura E.

    2013-01-01

    Directed actions can play a causal role in cognition, shaping thought processes. What drives this cross-talk between action and thought? I investigated the hypothesis that representations in spatial working memory mediate interactions between directed actions and problem solving. Participants attempted to solve an insight problem while…

  7. Working Memory Deficits in Children with Specific Learning Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schuchardt, Kirsten; Maehler, Claudia; Hasselhorn, Marcus

    2008-01-01

    This article examines working memory functioning in children with specific developmental disorders of scholastic skills as defined by ICD-10. Ninety-seven second to fourth graders with a minimum IQ of 80 are compared using a 2 x 2 factorial (dyscalculia vs. no dyscalculia; dyslexia vs. no dyslexia) design. An extensive test battery assesses the…

  8. Tyrosine improves working memory in a multitasking environment.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J R; Lockwood, P A; Singh, A; Deuster, P A

    1999-11-01

    Previous studies indicate that tyrosine may prove useful in promoting improved performance in situations in which performance is compromised by stress. To extend the generality of previous tyrosine findings, the present study examined the effects of tyrosine ingestion on performance during both a Multiple Task and a Simple Task battery. The multiple task battery was designed to measure working memory, arithmetic skills, and visual and auditory monitoring simultaneously, whereas the simple task battery measured only working memory and visual monitoring. Ten men and 10 women subjects underwent these batteries 1 h after ingesting 150 mg/kg of l-tyrosine or placebo. Administration of tyrosine significantly enhanced accuracy and decreased frequency of list retrieval on the working memory task during the multiple task battery compared with placebo. However, tyrosine induced no significant changes in performance on the arithmetic, visual, or auditory tasks during the Multiple Task, or modified any performance measures during the Simple Task battery. Blood levels of ACTH and cortisol were not, but heart rate and blood pressure were significantly increased during the performance tasks. The present results indicate that tyrosine may sustain working memory when competing requirements to perform other tasks simultaneously degrade performance, and that supplemental tyrosine may be appropriate for maintaining performance when mild to severe decrements are anticipated.

  9. Working Memory Compensates for Hearing Related Phonological Processing Deficit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Classon, Elisabet; Rudner, Mary; Ronnberg, Jerker

    2013-01-01

    Acquired hearing impairment is associated with gradually declining phonological representations. According to the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model, poorly defined representations lead to mismatch in phonologically challenging tasks. To resolve the mismatch, reliance on working memory capacity (WMC) increases. This study investigated…

  10. Attention to Attributes and Objects in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Blume, Christopher L.; Saults, J. Scott

    2013-01-01

    It has been debated on the basis of change-detection procedures whether visual working memory is limited by the number of objects, task-relevant attributes within those objects, or bindings between attributes. This debate, however, has been hampered by several limitations, including the use of conditions that vary between studies and the absence…

  11. Two Maintenance Mechanisms of Verbal Information in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Camos, V.; Lagner, P.; Barrouillet, P.

    2009-01-01

    The present study evaluated the interplay between two mechanisms of maintenance of verbal information in working memory, namely articulatory rehearsal as described in Baddeley's model, and attentional refreshing as postulated in Barrouillet and Camos's Time-Based Resource-Sharing (TBRS) model. In four experiments using complex span paradigm, we…

  12. A Working Memory Model Applied to Mathematical Word Problem Solving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alamolhodaei, Hassan

    2009-01-01

    The main objective of this study is (a) to explore the relationship among cognitive style (field dependence/independence), working memory, and mathematics anxiety and (b) to examine their effects on students' mathematics problem solving. A sample of 161 school girls (13-14 years old) were tested on (1) the Witkin's cognitive style (Group Embedded…

  13. Working Memory in Aphasia: Theory, Measures, and Clinical Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Heather Harris; Shisler, Rebecca J.

    2005-01-01

    Recently, researchers have suggested that deficits in working memory capacity contribute to language-processing difficulties observed in individuals with aphasia (e.g., I. Caspari, S. Parkinson, L. LaPointe, & R. Katz, 1998; R. A. Downey et al., 2004; N. Friedmann & A. Gvion, 2003; H. H. Wright, M. Newhoff, R. Downey, & S. Austermann, 2003). A…

  14. Working memory dysfunctions predict social problem solving skills in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jia; Tan, Shu-ping; Walsh, Sarah C; Spriggens, Lauren K; Neumann, David L; Shum, David H K; Chan, Raymond C K

    2014-12-15

    The current study aimed to examine the contribution of neurocognition and social cognition to components of social problem solving. Sixty-seven inpatients with schizophrenia and 31 healthy controls were administrated batteries of neurocognitive tests, emotion perception tests, and the Chinese Assessment of Interpersonal Problem Solving Skills (CAIPSS). MANOVAs were conducted to investigate the domains in which patients with schizophrenia showed impairments. Correlations were used to determine which impaired domains were associated with social problem solving, and multiple regression analyses were conducted to compare the relative contribution of neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning to components of social problem solving. Compared with healthy controls, patients with schizophrenia performed significantly worse in sustained attention, working memory, negative emotion, intention identification and all components of the CAIPSS. Specifically, sustained attention, working memory and negative emotion identification were found to correlate with social problem solving and 1-back accuracy significantly predicted the poor performance in social problem solving. Among the dysfunctions in schizophrenia, working memory contributed most to deficits in social problem solving in patients with schizophrenia. This finding provides support for targeting working memory in the development of future social problem solving rehabilitation interventions.

  15. Working Memory and Intelligence Are Highly Related Constructs, but Why?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colom, Roberto; Abad, Francisco J.; Quiroga, M. Angeles; Shih, Pei Chun; Flores-Mendoza, Carmen

    2008-01-01

    Working memory and the general factor of intelligence (g) are highly related constructs. However, we still don't know why. Some models support the central role of simple short-term storage, whereas others appeal to executive functions like the control of attention. Nevertheless, the available empirical evidence does not suffice to get an answer,…

  16. Linking Developmental Working Memory and Early Academic Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Decker, Janice E.

    2011-01-01

    Brain-based initiatives and school readiness mandates in education have prompted researchers to examine the biological mechanisms associated with learning in the hope that understanding empirical evidence can maximize learning potential. Current research has examined working memory skills in relationship to early learning. The function of working…

  17. The Development of Visual Working Memory Capacity during Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simmering, Vanessa R.

    2012-01-01

    The change detection task has been used in dozens of studies with adults to measure visual working memory capacity. Two studies have recently tested children in this task, suggesting a gradual increase in capacity from 5 years to adulthood. These results contrast with findings from an infant looking paradigm suggesting that capacity reaches…

  18. No Evidence for Temporal Decay in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewandowsky, Stephan; Oberauer, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    What drives forgetting in working memory? Recent evidence suggests that in a complex-span task in which an irrelevant processing task alternates with presentation of the memoranda, recall declines when the time taken to complete the processing task is extended while holding the time for rehearsal in between processing steps constant (Portrat,…

  19. Addressing Working Memory in Children with Autism through Behavioral Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baltruschat, Lisa; Hasselhorn, Marcus; Tarbox, Jonathan; Dixon, Dennis R.; Najdowski, Adel C.; Mullins, Ryan D.; Gould, Evelyn R.

    2011-01-01

    Children with autism often struggle with executive function (EF) deficits, particularly with regard to working memory (WM). Despite the documented deficits in these areas, very little controlled research has evaluated treatments for remediation of EF or WM deficits in children with autism. This study examined the use of positive reinforcement for…

  20. Proactive Interference and Item Similarity in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bunting, Michael

    2006-01-01

    Proactive interference (PI) may influence the predictive utility of working memory span tasks. Participants in one experiment (N=70) completed Ravens Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) and multiple versions of operation span and probed recall, modified for the type of memoranda (digits or words). Changing memoranda within- or across-trials…

  1. Difficulties in Working Memory Updating in Individuals with Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carretti, B.; Belacchi, C.; Cornoldi, C.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Despite the critical role attributed to working memory (WM) updating for executive functions and fluid intelligence, no research has yet been carried out on its specific role in the vital case of fluid intelligence weakness, represented by individuals with intellectual disability (ID). Furthermore, the relationship between updating and…

  2. Visual Information Can Hinder Working Memory Processing of Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mishra, Sushmit; Lunner, Thomas; Stenfelt, Stefan; Ronnberg, Jerker; Rudner, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the new Cognitive Spare Capacity Test (CSCT), which measures aspects of working memory capacity for heard speech in the audiovisual and auditory-only modalities of presentation. Method: In Experiment 1, 20 young adults with normal hearing performed the CSCT and an independent battery of…

  3. No Role for Motor Affordances in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pecher, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Motor affordances have been shown to play a role in visual object identification and categorization. The present study explored whether working memory is likewise supported by motor affordances. Use of motor affordances should be disrupted by motor interference, and this effect should be larger for objects that have motor affordances than for…

  4. Is Working Memory Training Effective? A Meta-Analytic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Melby-Lervag, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2013-01-01

    It has been suggested that working memory training programs are effective both as treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other cognitive disorders in children and as a tool to improve cognitive ability and scholastic attainment in typically developing children and adults. However, effects across studies appear to be…

  5. Phonological and Visuospatial Working Memory in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macizo, P.; Soriano, M. F.; Paredes, N.

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated phonological and visuospatial working memory (WM) in autism spectrum disorders. Autistic children and typically developing children were compared. We used WM tasks that measured phonological and visuospatial WM up to the capacity limit of each children. Overall measures of WM did not show differences between autistic children and…

  6. Anxiety, Methylphenidate Response, and Working Memory in Children with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bedard, Anne-Claude; Tannock, Rosemary

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on components of working memory (WM) in children with ADHD and determine whether MPH produces differential effects on WM in children with comorbid anxiety (ANX). Method: Participants were a clinical sample of 130 children with ADHD, aged 6 to 12 years old (32% comorbid ANX). Each child…

  7. Development of Working Memory for Verbal-Spatial Associations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Saults, J. Scott; Morey, Candice C.

    2006-01-01

    Verbal-to-spatial associations in working memory may index a core capacity for abstract information limited in the amount concurrently retained. However, what look like associative, abstract representations could instead reflect verbal and spatial codes held separately and then used in parallel. We investigated this issue in two experiments on…

  8. Knowledge Cannot Explain the Developmental Growth of Working Memory Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Ricker, Timothy J.; Clark, Katherine M.; Hinrichs, Garrett A.; Glass, Bret A.

    2015-01-01

    According to some views of cognitive growth, the development of working memory capacity can account for increases in the complexity of cognition. It has been difficult to ascertain, though, that there actually is developmental growth in capacity that cannot be attributed to other developing factors. Here we assess the role of item familiarity. We…

  9. Working Memory Updating as a Predictor of Academic Attainment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lechuga, M. Teresa; Pelegrina, Santiago; Pelaez, Jose L.; Martin-Puga, M. Eva; Justicia, M. Jose

    2016-01-01

    There is growing evidence supporting the importance of executive functions, and specifically working memory updating (WMU), for children's academic achievement. This study aimed to assess the specific contribution of updating to the prediction of academic performance. Two updating tasks, which included different updating components, were…

  10. Phonological Working Memory of Children in Two German Special Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hasselhorn, Marcus; Mahler, Claudia

    2007-01-01

    In two studies, 10-year-olds from 2 German special schools as well as typically developing children of the same chronological age (CA controls) or the same mental age (MA controls) were compared on several aspects of working memory functions (i.e., size and input quality of the phonological store, speed and automatic activation of the subvocal…

  11. Assessing Working Memory Capacity in a Non-Native Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanchez, Christopher A.; Wiley, Jennifer; Miura, Timothy K.; Colflesh, Gregory J. H.; Ricks, Travis R.; Jensen, Melinda S.; Conway, Andrew R. A.

    2010-01-01

    The present studies directly test the usefulness of two English-language working memory capacity (WMC) assessments with two samples of students whose native language was not English. Participants completed two widely used complex span tasks, Reading Span (RSpan) and Operation Span (OSpan), in English. To determine whether the well-established…

  12. Opposite Effects of Working Memory on Subjective Visibility and Priming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Loof, Esther; Verguts, Tom; Fias, Wim; Van Opstal, Filip

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive theories on consciousness propose a strong link between consciousness and working memory (WM). This link is also present at the neural level: Both consciousness and WM have been implicated in a prefrontal parietal network. However, the link remains empirically unexplored. The present study investigates the relation between consciousness…

  13. Hemispheric Lateralization of Verbal and Spatial Working Memory during Adolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagel, Bonnie J.; Herting, Megan M.; Maxwell, Emily C.; Bruno, Richard; Fair, Damien

    2013-01-01

    Adult functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature suggests that a left-right hemispheric dissociation may exist between verbal and spatial working memory (WM), respectively. However, investigation of this type has been obscured by incomparable verbal and spatial WM tasks and/or visual inspection at arbitrary thresholds as means to…

  14. Mapping the Developmental Constraints on Working Memory Span Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayliss, Donna M.; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D.; Gunn, Deborah M.; Leigh, Eleanor

    2004-01-01

    This study investigated the constraints underlying developmental improvements in complex working memory span performance among 120 children of between 6 and 10 years of age. Independent measures of processing efficiency, storage capacity, rehearsal speed, and basic speed of processing were assessed to determine their contribution to age-related…

  15. Development of Visual Working Memory Precision in Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnett Heyes, Stephanie; Zokaei, Nahid; van der Staaij, Irene; Bays, Paul M.; Husain, Masud

    2012-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is the facility to hold in mind visual information for brief periods of time. Developmental studies have suggested an increase during childhood in the maximum number of complete items that can simultaneously be stored in VWM. Here, we exploit a recent theoretical and empirical innovation to investigate instead the…

  16. Binding of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Features in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ecker, Ullrich K. H.; Maybery, Murray; Zimmer, Hubert D.

    2013-01-01

    There is ongoing debate concerning the mechanisms of feature binding in working memory. In particular, there is controversy regarding the extent to which these binding processes are automatic. The present article demonstrates that binding mechanisms differ depending on whether the to-be-integrated features are perceived as forming a coherent…

  17. A Core Knowledge Architecture of Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Justin N.

    2011-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is widely thought to contain specialized buffers for retaining spatial and object information: a "spatial-object architecture." However, studies of adults, infants, and nonhuman animals show that visual cognition builds on core knowledge systems that retain more specialized representations: (1) spatiotemporal…

  18. Aspects of Working Memory in L2 Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juffs, Alan; Harrington, Michael

    2011-01-01

    This article reviews research on working memory (WM) and its use in second language (L2) acquisition research. Recent developments in the model and issues surrounding the operationalization of the construct itself are presented, followed by a discussion of various methods of measuring WM. These methods include word and digit span tasks, reading,…

  19. Working Memory Is (Almost) Perfectly Predicted by "g"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colom, Roberto; Rebollo, Irene; Palacios, Antonio; Juan-Espinosa, Manuel; Kyllonen, Patrick C.

    2004-01-01

    This article analyzes if working memory (WM) is especially important to understand "g." WM comprises the functions of focusing attention, conscious rehearsal, and transformation and mental manipulation of information, while "g" reflects the component variance that is common to all tests of ability. The centrality of WM in individual differences in…

  20. Contributions of Spatial Working Memory to Visuomotor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anguera, Joaquin A.; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.; Willingham, Daniel T.; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies of motor learning have described the importance of cognitive processes during the early stages of learning; however, the precise nature of these processes and their neural correlates remains unclear. The present study investigated whether spatial working memory (SWM) contributes to visuomotor adaptation depending on the stage of…

  1. Central and Peripheral Components of Working Memory Storage

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Nelson; Saults, J. Scott; Blume, Christopher L.

    2014-01-01

    This study re-examines the issue of how much of working memory storage is central, or shared across sensory modalities and verbal and nonverbal codes, and how much is peripheral, or specific to a modality or code. In addition to the exploration of many parameters in 9 new dual-task experiments and re-analysis of some prior evidence, the innovations of the present work compared to previous studies of memory for two stimulus sets include (1) use of a principled set of formulas to estimate the number of items in working memory, and (2) a model to dissociate central components, which are allocated to very different stimulus sets depending on the instructions, from peripheral components, which are used for only one kind of material. We consistently find that the central contribution is smaller than was suggested by Saults and Cowan (2007), and that the peripheral contribution is often much larger when the task does not require the binding of features within an object. Previous capacity estimates are consistent with the sum of central plus peripheral components observed here. We consider the implications of the data as constraints on theories of working memory storage and maintenance. PMID:24867488

  2. The Role of Vocal Practice in Constructing Phonological Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keren-Portnoy, Tamar; Vihman, Marilyn M.; DePaolis, Rory A.; Whitaker, Chris J.; Williams, Nicola M.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors looked for effects of vocal practice on phonological working memory. Method: A longitudinal design was used, combining both naturalistic observations and a nonword repetition test. Fifteen 26-month-olds (12 of whom were followed from age 11 months) were administered a nonword test including real words,…

  3. Serial and Parallel Processes in Working Memory after Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klaus; Bialkova, Svetlana

    2011-01-01

    Six young adults practiced for 36 sessions on a working-memory updating task in which 2 digits and 2 spatial positions were continuously updated. Participants either did 1 updating operation at a time, or attempted 1 numerical and 1 spatial operation at the same time. In contrast to previous research using the same paradigm with a single digit and…

  4. Working Memory Deficits and Social Problems in Children with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kofler, Michael J.; Rapport, Mark D.; Bolden, Jennifer; Sarver, Dustin E.; Raiker, Joseph S.; Alderson, R. Matt

    2011-01-01

    Social problems are a prevalent feature of ADHD and reflect a major source of functional impairment for these children. The current study examined the impact of working memory deficits on parent- and teacher-reported social problems in a sample of children with ADHD and typically developing boys (N = 39). Bootstrapped, bias-corrected mediation…

  5. Speed of Processing, Working Memory, and Language Impairment in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonard, Laurence B.; Weismer, Susan Ellis; Miller, Carol A.; Francis, David J.; Tomblin, J. Bruce; Kail, Robert V.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: Children with language impairment (LI) often perform below the level of typically developing peers on measures of both processing speed and working memory. This study examined the relationship between these 2 types of measures and attempted to determine whether such measures can account for the LI itself. Method: Fourteen-year-old…

  6. Effects of Skill Training on Working Memory Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yuh-shiow; Lu, Min-ju; Ko, Hsiu-ping

    2007-01-01

    In this study we examined the effects of skill training, in particular mental abacus and music training, on working memory. Two groups of participants--children who had received mental abacus training and their controls--participated in Experiment 1. All participants performed the following span tasks: forward digit span, backward digit span,…

  7. Children's Working Memory: Its Structure and Relationship to Fluid Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hornung, Caroline; Brunner, Martin; Reuter, Robert A. P.; Martin, Romain

    2011-01-01

    Working memory (WM) has been predominantly studied in adults. The insights provided by these studies have led to the development of competing theories on the structure of WM and conflicting conclusions on how strongly WM components are related to higher order thinking skills such as fluid intelligence. However, it remains unclear whether and to…

  8. A Working Memory, Not Bilingual Advantage, in Controlled Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Namazi, Mahchid; Thordardottir, Elin

    2010-01-01

    We explored the relationship between working memory (WM) and visually controlled attention (CA) in young bilingual and monolingual children. Previous research has shown that balanced bilingual children outperform monolinguals in CA. However, it is unclear whether this advantage is truly associated with bilingualism or whether potential WM and/or…

  9. Similarity, Not Complexity, Determines Visual Working Memory Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Margaret C.; Linden, David E. J.; Roberts, Mark V.; Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Haenschel, Corinna

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that visual working memory (WM) is poorer for complex versus simple items, traditionally accounted for by higher information load placing greater demands on encoding and storage capacity limits. Other research suggests that it may not be complexity that determines WM performance per se, but rather increased…

  10. Working Memory Enhances Visual Perception: Evidence from Signal Detection Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soto, David; Wriglesworth, Alice; Bahrami-Balani, Alex; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2010-01-01

    We show that perceptual sensitivity to visual stimuli can be modulated by matches between the contents of working memory (WM) and stimuli in the visual field. Observers were presented with an object cue (to hold in WM or to merely attend) and subsequently had to identify a brief target presented within a colored shape. The cue could be…

  11. Gender Identification Moderates Social Identity Threat Effects on Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaiser, Cheryl R.; Hagiwara, Nao

    2011-01-01

    This investigation examined whether gender identification moderates women's working memory following exposure to situations that threaten the integrity of their gender group. Young adults read sentences that either threatened women's gender identity (in the social identity threat condition) or did not threaten this identity (in the control…

  12. The Distribution of Working Memory Capacity in Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagner, James; Allan, Gerri

    Thirty grade 4 subjects were individually tested on a digit span test of working memory capacity (Case and Kurland) and the Reading Span Test (Daneman and Carpenter). The Reading Span Test was administered using sentences at a grade 2, grade 4, and grade 6 reading level. It was predicted that, as the decoding demands of the stimulus sentences in…

  13. Modeling Working Memory Tasks on the Item Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Dasen; Chen, Guopeng; Zen, Fanlin; Murray, Bronwyn

    2010-01-01

    Item responses to Digit Span and Letter-Number Sequencing were analyzed to develop a better-refined model of the two working memory tasks using the finite mixture (FM) modeling method. Models with ordinal latent traits were found to better account for the independent sources of the variability in the tasks than those with continuous traits, and…

  14. Etiological Distinction of Working Memory Components in Relation to Mathematics

    PubMed Central

    Lukowski, Sarah L.; Soden, Brooke; Hart, Sara A.; Thompson, Lee A.; Kovas, Yulia; Petrill, Stephen A.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory has been consistently associated with mathematics achievement, although the etiology of these relations remains poorly understood. The present study examined the genetic and environmental underpinnings of math story problem solving, timed calculation, and untimed calculation alongside working memory components in 12-year-old monozygotic (n = 105) and same-sex dizygotic (n = 143) twin pairs. Results indicated significant phenotypic correlation between each working memory component and all mathematics outcomes (r = 0.18 – 0.33). Additive genetic influences shared between the visuo-spatial sketchpad and mathematics achievement was significant, accounting for roughly 89% of the observed correlation. In addition, genetic covariance was found between the phonological loop and math story problem solving. In contrast, despite there being a significant observed relationship between phonological loop and timed and untimed calculation, there was no significant genetic or environmental covariance between the phonological loop and timed or untimed calculation skills. Further analyses indicated that genetic overlap between the visuo-spatial sketchpad and math story problem solving and math fluency was distinct from general genetic factors, whereas g, phonological loop, and mathematics shared generalist genes. Thus, although each working memory component was related to mathematics, the etiology of their relationships may be distinct. PMID:25477699

  15. Music Training and Working Memory: An ERP Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Elyse M.; Coch, Donna

    2011-01-01

    While previous research has suggested that music training is associated with improvements in various cognitive and linguistic skills, the mechanisms mediating or underlying these associations are mostly unknown. Here, we addressed the hypothesis that previous music training is related to improved working memory. Using event-related potentials…

  16. Context controls access to working and reference memory in the pigeon (Columba livia).

    PubMed

    Roberts, William A; Macpherson, Krista; Strang, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    The interaction between working and reference memory systems was examined under conditions in which salient contextual cues were presented during memory retrieval. Ambient colored lights (red or green) bathed the operant chamber during the presentation of comparison stimuli in delayed matching-to-sample training (working memory) and during the presentation of the comparison stimuli as S+ and S- cues in discrimination training (reference memory). Strong competition between memory systems appeared when the same contextual cue appeared during working and reference memory training. When different contextual cues were used, however, working memory was completely protected from reference memory interference.

  17. The role of working memory and declarative memory in trace conditioning.

    PubMed

    Connor, David A; Gould, Thomas J

    2016-10-01

    Translational assays of cognition that are similarly implemented in both lower and higher-order species, such as rodents and primates, provide a means to reconcile preclinical modeling of psychiatric neuropathology and clinical research. To this end, Pavlovian conditioning has provided a useful tool for investigating cognitive processes in both lab animal models and humans. This review focuses on trace conditioning, a form of Pavlovian conditioning typified by the insertion of a temporal gap (i.e., trace interval) between presentations of a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US). This review aims to discuss pre-clinical and clinical work investigating the mnemonic processes recruited for trace conditioning. Much work suggests that trace conditioning involves unique neurocognitive mechanisms to facilitate formation of trace memories in contrast to standard Pavlovian conditioning. For example, the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) appear to play critical roles in trace conditioning. Moreover, cognitive mechanistic accounts in human studies suggest that working memory and declarative memory processes are engaged to facilitate formation of trace memories. The aim of this review is to integrate cognitive and neurobiological accounts of trace conditioning from preclinical and clinical studies to examine involvement of working and declarative memory.

  18. Contrasting single and multi-component working-memory systems in dual tasking.

    PubMed

    Nijboer, Menno; Borst, Jelmer; van Rijn, Hedderik; Taatgen, Niels

    2016-05-01

    Working memory can be a major source of interference in dual tasking. However, there is no consensus on whether this interference is the result of a single working memory bottleneck, or of interactions between different working memory components that together form a complete working-memory system. We report a behavioral and an fMRI dataset in which working memory requirements are manipulated during multitasking. We show that a computational cognitive model that assumes a distributed version of working memory accounts for both behavioral and neuroimaging data better than a model that takes a more centralized approach. The model's working memory consists of an attentional focus, declarative memory, and a subvocalized rehearsal mechanism. Thus, the data and model favor an account where working memory interference in dual tasking is the result of interactions between different resources that together form a working-memory system.

  19. Contrasting single and multi-component working-memory systems in dual tasking.

    PubMed

    Nijboer, Menno; Borst, Jelmer; van Rijn, Hedderik; Taatgen, Niels

    2016-05-01

    Working memory can be a major source of interference in dual tasking. However, there is no consensus on whether this interference is the result of a single working memory bottleneck, or of interactions between different working memory components that together form a complete working-memory system. We report a behavioral and an fMRI dataset in which working memory requirements are manipulated during multitasking. We show that a computational cognitive model that assumes a distributed version of working memory accounts for both behavioral and neuroimaging data better than a model that takes a more centralized approach. The model's working memory consists of an attentional focus, declarative memory, and a subvocalized rehearsal mechanism. Thus, the data and model favor an account where working memory interference in dual tasking is the result of interactions between different resources that together form a working-memory system. PMID:26859518

  20. Twisting tongues and memories: Explorations of the relationship between language production and verbal working memory.

    PubMed

    Acheson, Daniel J; Macdonald, Maryellen C

    2009-04-01

    Many accounts of working memory posit specialized storage mechanisms for the maintenance of serial order. We explore an alternative, that maintenance is achieved through temporary activation in the language production architecture. Four experiments examined the extent to which the phonological similarity effect can be explained as a sublexical speech error. Phonologically similar nonword stimuli were ordered to create tongue twister or control materials used in four tasks: reading aloud, immediate spoken recall, immediate typed recall, and serial recognition. Dependent measures from working memory (recall accuracy) and language production (speech errors) fields were used. Even though lists were identical except for item order, robust effects of tongue twisters were observed. Speech error analyses showed that errors were better described as phoneme rather than item ordering errors. The distribution of speech errors was comparable across all experiments and exhibited syllable-position effects, suggesting an important role for production processes. Implications for working memory and language production are discussed.

  1. Conceptual similarity effects on working memory in sentence contexts: testing a theory of anaphora.

    PubMed

    Cowles, H Wind; Garnham, Alan; Simner, Julia

    2010-06-01

    The degree of semantic similarity between an anaphoric noun phrase (e.g., the bird) and its antecedent (e.g., a robin) is known to affect the anaphor resolution process, but the mechanisms that underlie this effect are not known. One proposal (Almor, 1999) is that semantic similarity triggers interference effects in working memory and makes two crucial assumptions: First, semantic similarity impairs working memory just as phonological similarity does (e.g., Baddeley, 1992), and, second, this impairment interferes with processes of sentence comprehension. We tested these assumptions in two experiments that compared recall accuracy between phonologically similar, semantically similar, and control words in sentence contexts. Our results do not provide support for Almor's claims: Phonological overlap decreased recall accuracy in sentence contexts, but semantic similarity did not. These results shed doubt on the idea that semantic interference in working memory is an underlying mechanism in anaphor resolution. PMID:19890766

  2. I. WORKING MEMORY CAPACITY IN CONTEXT: MODELING DYNAMIC PROCESSES OF BEHAVIOR, MEMORY, AND DEVELOPMENT.

    PubMed

    Simmering, Vanessa R

    2016-09-01

    Working memory is a vital cognitive skill that underlies a broad range of behaviors. Higher cognitive functions are reliably predicted by working memory measures from two domains: children's performance on complex span tasks, and infants' performance in looking paradigms. Despite the similar predictive power across these research areas, theories of working memory development have not connected these different task types and developmental periods. The current project takes a first step toward bridging this gap by presenting a process-oriented theory, focusing on two tasks designed to assess visual working memory capacity in infants (the change-preference task) versus children and adults (the change detection task). Previous studies have shown inconsistent results, with capacity estimates increasing from one to four items during infancy, but only two to three items during early childhood. A probable source of this discrepancy is the different task structures used with each age group, but prior theories were not sufficiently specific to explain how performance relates across tasks. The current theory focuses on cognitive dynamics, that is, how memory representations are formed, maintained, and used within specific task contexts over development. This theory was formalized in a computational model to generate three predictions: 1) capacity estimates in the change-preference task should continue to increase beyond infancy; 2) capacity estimates should be higher in the change-preference versus change detection task when tested within individuals; and 3) performance should correlate across tasks because both rely on the same underlying memory system. I also tested a fourth prediction, that development across tasks could be explained through increasing real-time stability, realized computationally as strengthening connectivity within the model. Results confirmed these predictions, supporting the cognitive dynamics account of performance and developmental changes in real

  3. Making working memory work: a computational model of learning in the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, Randall C; Frank, Michael J

    2006-02-01

    The prefrontal cortex has long been thought to subserve both working memory (the holding of information online for processing) and executive functions (deciding how to manipulate working memory and perform processing). Although many computational models of working memory have been developed, the mechanistic basis of executive function remains elusive, often amounting to a homunculus. This article presents an attempt to deconstruct this homunculus through powerful learning mechanisms that allow a computational model of the prefrontal cortex to control both itself and other brain areas in a strategic, task-appropriate manner. These learning mechanisms are based on subcortical structures in the midbrain, basal ganglia, and amygdala, which together form an actor-critic architecture. The critic system learns which prefrontal representations are task relevant and trains the actor, which in turn provides a dynamic gating mechanism for controlling working memory updating. Computationally, the learning mechanism is designed to simultaneously solve the temporal and structural credit assignment problems. The model's performance compares favorably with standard backpropagation-based temporal learning mechanisms on the challenging 1-2-AX working memory task and other benchmark working memory tasks. PMID:16378516

  4. Parallel effects of memory set activation and search on timing and working memory capacity

    PubMed Central

    Schweickert, Richard; Fortin, Claudette; Xi, Zhuangzhuang; Viau-Quesnel, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Accurately estimating a time interval is required in everyday activities such as driving or cooking. Estimating time is relatively easy, provided a person attends to it. But a brief shift of attention to another task usually interferes with timing. Most processes carried out concurrently with timing interfere with it. Curiously, some do not. Literature on a few processes suggests a general proposition, the Timing and Complex-Span Hypothesis: A process interferes with concurrent timing if and only if process performance is related to complex span. Complex-span is the number of items correctly recalled in order, when each item presented for study is followed by a brief activity. Literature on task switching, visual search, memory search, word generation and mental time travel supports the hypothesis. Previous work found that another process, activation of a memory set in long term memory, is not related to complex-span. If the Timing and Complex-Span Hypothesis is true, activation should not interfere with concurrent timing in dual-task conditions. We tested such activation in single-task memory search task conditions and in dual-task conditions where memory search was executed with concurrent timing. In Experiment 1, activating a memory set increased reaction time, with no significant effect on time production. In Experiment 2, set size and memory set activation were manipulated. Activation and set size had a puzzling interaction for time productions, perhaps due to difficult conditions, leading us to use a related but easier task in Experiment 3. In Experiment 3 increasing set size lengthened time production, but memory activation had no significant effect. Results here and in previous literature on the whole support the Timing and Complex-Span Hypotheses. Results also support a sequential organization of activation and search of memory. This organization predicts activation and set size have additive effects on reaction time and multiplicative effects on percent

  5. The Influence of Attention Set, Working Memory Capacity, and Expectations on Inattentional Blindness.

    PubMed

    Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J

    2016-04-01

    The probability of inattentional blindness, the failure to notice an unexpected object when attention is engaged on some primary task, is influenced by contextual factors like task demands, features of the unexpected object, and the observer's attention set. However, predicting who will notice an unexpected object and who will remain inattentionally blind has proven difficult, and the evidence that individual differences in cognition affect noticing remains ambiguous. We hypothesized that greater working memory capacity might modulate the effect of attention sets on noticing because working memory is associated with the ability to focus attention selectively. People with greater working memory capacity might be better able to attend selectively to target items, thereby increasing the chances of noticing unexpected objects that were similar to the attended items while decreasing the odds of noticing unexpected objects that differed from the attended items. Our study (N = 120 participants) replicated evidence that task-induced attention sets modulate noticing but found no link between noticing and working memory capacity. Our results are largely consistent with the idea that individual differences in working memory capacity do not predict noticing of unexpected objects in an inattentional blindness task.

  6. Different Roles of COMT and HTR2A Genotypes in Working Memory Subprocesses

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Hirohito M.; Nomura, Michio; Kashino, Makio

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is linked to the functions of the frontal areas, in which neural activity is mediated by dopaminergic and serotonergic tones. However, there is no consensus regarding how the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems influence working memory subprocesses. The present study used an imaging genetics approach to examine the interaction between neurochemical functions and working memory performance. We focused on functional polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met and serotonin 2A receptor (HTR2A) -1438G/A genes, and devised a delayed recognition task to isolate the encoding, retention, and retrieval processes for visual information. The COMT genotypes affected recognition accuracy, whereas the HTR2A genotypes were associated with recognition response times. Activations specifically related to working memory were found in the right frontal and parietal areas, such as the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). MFG and ACC/IPL activations were sensitive to differences between the COMT genotypes and between the HTR2A genotypes, respectively. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that stronger connectivity in the ACC-MFG and ACC-IFG networks is related to better task performance. The behavioral and fMRI results suggest that the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems play different roles in the working memory subprocesses and modulate closer cooperation between lateral and medial frontal activations. PMID:25974269

  7. Intake of Wild Blueberry Powder Improves Episodic-Like and Working Memory during Normal Aging in Mice.

    PubMed

    Beracochea, Daniel; Krazem, Ali; Henkouss, Nadia; Haccard, Guillaume; Roller, Marc; Fromentin, Emilie

    2016-08-01

    The number of Americans older than 65 years old is projected to more than double in the next 40 years. Cognitive changes associated to aging can affect an adult's day-to-day functioning. Among these cognitive changes, reasoning, episodic memory, working memory, and processing speed decline gradually over time. Early memory changes include a decline in both working and episodic memory. The aim of the present study was to determine whether chronic (up to 75 days) daily administration of wild blueberry extract or a wild blueberry full spectrum powder would help prevent memory failure associated with aging in tasks involving various forms of memory. Both blueberry ingredients were used in a study comparing young mice (6 months old) to aged mice (18 months old). At this age, mice exhibit memory decline due to aging, which is exacerbated first by a loss in working and contextual (episodic-like) memory. Contextual memory (episodic-like memory) was evaluated using the contextual serial discrimination test. Working and spatial memory were evaluated using the Morris-Water maze test and the sequential alternation test. Statistical analysis was performed using an ANOVA with the Bonferroni post-hoc test. Supplementation with wild blueberry full spectrum powder and wild blueberry extract resulted in significant improvement of contextual memory, while untreated aged mice experienced a decline in such memory. Only the wild blueberry full spectrum powder significantly contributed to an improvement of spatial and working memory versus untreated aged mice. These improvements of cognitive performance may be related to brain oxidative status, acetylcholinesterase activity, neuroprotection, or attenuation of immunoreactivity.

  8. Children's inference generation: The role of vocabulary and working memory.

    PubMed

    Currie, Nicola Kate; Cain, Kate

    2015-09-01

    Inferences are crucial to successful discourse comprehension. We assessed the contributions of vocabulary and working memory to inference making in children aged 5 and 6years (n=44), 7 and 8years (n=43), and 9 and 10years (n=43). Children listened to short narratives and answered questions to assess local and global coherence inferences after each one. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) confirmed developmental improvements on both types of inference. Although standardized measures of both vocabulary and working memory were correlated with inference making, multiple regression analyses determined that vocabulary was the key predictor. For local coherence inferences, only vocabulary predicted unique variance for the 6- and 8-year-olds; in contrast, none of the variables predicted performance for the 10-year-olds. For global coherence inferences, vocabulary was the only unique predictor for each age group. Mediation analysis confirmed that although working memory was associated with the ability to generate local and global coherence inferences in 6- to 10-year-olds, the effect was mediated by vocabulary. We conclude that vocabulary knowledge supports inference making in two ways: through knowledge of word meanings required to generate inferences and through its contribution to memory processes.

  9. Body image, visual working memory and visual mental imagery

    PubMed Central

    Uytman, Clare; Allen, Richard J.; Havelka, Jelena; Pearson, David G.

    2015-01-01

    Body dissatisfaction (BD) is a highly prevalent feature amongst females in society, with the majority of individuals regarding themselves to be overweight compared to their personal ideal, and very few self-describing as underweight. To date, explanations of this dramatic pattern have centred on extrinsic social and media factors, or intrinsic factors connected to individuals’ knowledge and belief structures regarding eating and body shape, with little research examining links between BD and basic cognitive mechanisms. This paper reports a correlational study in which visual and executive cognitive processes that could potentially impact on BD were assessed. Visual memory span and self-rated visual imagery were found to be predictive of BD, alongside a measure of inhibition derived from the Stroop task. In contrast, spatial memory and global precedence were not related to BD. Results are interpreted with reference to the influential multi-component model of working memory. PMID:25737815

  10. The Nature of Working Memory Capacity in Sentence Comprehension: Evidence against Domain-Specific Working Memory Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fedorenko, Evelina; Gibson, Edward; Rohde, Douglas

    2006-01-01

    This paper reports the results of a dual-task experiment which investigates the nature of working memory resources used in sentence comprehension. Participants read sentences of varying syntactic complexity (containing subject-and object-extracted relative clauses) while remembering one or three nouns (similar to or dissimilar from the…

  11. Treating verbal working memory in a boy with intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Orsolini, Margherita; Melogno, Sergio; Latini, Nausica; Penge, Roberta; Conforti, Sara

    2015-01-01

    The present case study investigates the effects of a cognitive training of verbal working memory that was proposed for Davide, a 14-year-old boy diagnosed with mild intellectual disability. The program stimulated attention, inhibition, switching, and the ability to engage either in verbal dual tasks or in producing inferences after the content of a short passage had been encoded in episodic memory. Key elements in our program included (1) core training of target cognitive mechanisms; (2) guided practice emphasizing concrete strategies to engage in exercises; and (3) a variable amount of adult support. The study explored whether such a complex program produced "near transfer" effects on an untrained dual task assessing verbal working memory and whether effects on this and other target cognitive mechanisms (i.e., attention, inhibition, and switching) were long-lasting and produced "far transfer" effects on cognitive flexibility. The effects of the intervention program were investigated with a research design consisting of four subsequent phases lasting 8 or 10 weeks, each preceded and followed by testing. There was a control condition (phase 1) in which the boy received, at home, a stimulation focused on the visuospatial domain. Subsequently, there were three experimental training phases, in which stimulation in the verbal domain was first focused on attention and inhibition (phase 2a), then on switching and simple working memory tasks (phase 2b), then on complex working memory tasks (phase 3). A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered before and after each training phase and 7 months after the conclusion of the intervention. The main finding was that Davide changed from being incapable of addressing the dual task request of the listening span test in the initial assessment to performing close to the normal limits of a 13-year-old boy in the follow-up assessment with this test, when he was 15 years old.

  12. Treating verbal working memory in a boy with intellectual disability

    PubMed Central

    Orsolini, Margherita; Melogno, Sergio; Latini, Nausica; Penge, Roberta; Conforti, Sara

    2015-01-01

    The present case study investigates the effects of a cognitive training of verbal working memory that was proposed for Davide, a 14-year-old boy diagnosed with mild intellectual disability. The program stimulated attention, inhibition, switching, and the ability to engage either in verbal dual tasks or in producing inferences after the content of a short passage had been encoded in episodic memory. Key elements in our program included (1) core training of target cognitive mechanisms; (2) guided practice emphasizing concrete strategies to engage in exercises; and (3) a variable amount of adult support. The study explored whether such a complex program produced “near transfer” effects on an untrained dual task assessing verbal working memory and whether effects on this and other target cognitive mechanisms (i.e., attention, inhibition, and switching) were long-lasting and produced “far transfer” effects on cognitive flexibility. The effects of the intervention program were investigated with a research design consisting of four subsequent phases lasting 8 or 10 weeks, each preceded and followed by testing. There was a control condition (phase 1) in which the boy received, at home, a stimulation focused on the visuospatial domain. Subsequently, there were three experimental training phases, in which stimulation in the verbal domain was first focused on attention and inhibition (phase 2a), then on switching and simple working memory tasks (phase 2b), then on complex working memory tasks (phase 3). A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered before and after each training phase and 7 months after the conclusion of the intervention. The main finding was that Davide changed from being incapable of addressing the dual task request of the listening span test in the initial assessment to performing close to the normal limits of a 13-year-old boy in the follow-up assessment with this test, when he was 15 years old. PMID:26284014

  13. Dynamic updating of working memory resources for visual objects

    PubMed Central

    Gorgoraptis, Nikos; Catalao, Raquel F.G.; Bays, Paul M.; Husain, Masud

    2011-01-01

    Recent neurophysiological and imaging studies have investigated how neural representations underlying working memory (WM) are dynamically updated for objects presented sequentially. Although such studies implicate information encoded in oscillatory activity, across distributed brain networks, interpretation of findings depends crucially on the underlying conceptual model of how memory resources are distributed. Here we quantify the fidelity of human memory for sequences of colored stimuli of different orientation. The precision with which each orientation was recalled declined with increases in total memory load, but also depended on when in the sequence it appeared. When one item was prioritized, its recall was enhanced, but with corresponding decrements in precision for other objects. Comparison with the same number of items presented simultaneously revealed an additional performance cost for sequential display that could not be explained by temporal decay. Memory precision was lower for sequential when compared to simultaneous presentation, even when each item in the sequence was presented at a different location. Importantly, stochastic modelling established this cost for sequential display was due to misbinding object features (color and orientation). These results support the view that WM resources can be dynamically and flexibly updated as new items have to be stored, but redistribution of resources with the addition of new items is associated with misbinding object features, providing important constraints and a framework for interpreting neural data. PMID:21653854

  14. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution

    PubMed Central

    Nicenboim, Bruno; Vasishth, Shravan; Gattei, Carolina; Sigman, Mariano; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2015-01-01

    There is a wealth of evidence showing that increasing the distance between an argument and its head leads to more processing effort, namely, locality effects; these are usually associated with constraints in working memory (DLT: Gibson, 2000; activation-based model: Lewis and Vasishth, 2005). In SOV languages, however, the opposite effect has been found: antilocality (see discussion in Levy et al., 2013). Antilocality effects can be explained by the expectation-based approach as proposed by Levy (2008) or by the activation-based model of sentence processing as proposed by Lewis and Vasishth (2005). We report an eye-tracking and a self-paced reading study with sentences in Spanish together with measures of individual differences to examine the distinction between expectation- and memory-based accounts, and within memory-based accounts the further distinction between DLT and the activation-based model. The experiments show that (i) antilocality effects as predicted by the expectation account appear only for high-capacity readers; (ii) increasing dependency length by interposing material that modifies the head of the dependency (the verb) produces stronger facilitation than increasing dependency length with material that does not modify the head; this is in agreement with the activation-based model but not with the expectation account; and (iii) a possible outcome of memory load on low-capacity readers is the increase in regressive saccades (locality effects as predicted by memory-based accounts) or, surprisingly, a speedup in the self-paced reading task; the latter consistent with good-enough parsing (Ferreira et al., 2002). In sum, the study suggests that individual differences in working memory capacity play a role in dependency resolution, and that some of the aspects of dependency resolution can be best explained with the activation-based model together with a prediction component. PMID:25852623

  15. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution.

    PubMed

    Nicenboim, Bruno; Vasishth, Shravan; Gattei, Carolina; Sigman, Mariano; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2015-01-01

    There is a wealth of evidence showing that increasing the distance between an argument and its head leads to more processing effort, namely, locality effects; these are usually associated with constraints in working memory (DLT: Gibson, 2000; activation-based model: Lewis and Vasishth, 2005). In SOV languages, however, the opposite effect has been found: antilocality (see discussion in Levy et al., 2013). Antilocality effects can be explained by the expectation-based approach as proposed by Levy (2008) or by the activation-based model of sentence processing as proposed by Lewis and Vasishth (2005). We report an eye-tracking and a self-paced reading study with sentences in Spanish together with measures of individual differences to examine the distinction between expectation- and memory-based accounts, and within memory-based accounts the further distinction between DLT and the activation-based model. The experiments show that (i) antilocality effects as predicted by the expectation account appear only for high-capacity readers; (ii) increasing dependency length by interposing material that modifies the head of the dependency (the verb) produces stronger facilitation than increasing dependency length with material that does not modify the head; this is in agreement with the activation-based model but not with the expectation account; and (iii) a possible outcome of memory load on low-capacity readers is the increase in regressive saccades (locality effects as predicted by memory-based accounts) or, surprisingly, a speedup in the self-paced reading task; the latter consistent with good-enough parsing (Ferreira et al., 2002). In sum, the study suggests that individual differences in working memory capacity play a role in dependency resolution, and that some of the aspects of dependency resolution can be best explained with the activation-based model together with a prediction component.

  16. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution.

    PubMed

    Nicenboim, Bruno; Vasishth, Shravan; Gattei, Carolina; Sigman, Mariano; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2015-01-01

    There is a wealth of evidence showing that increasing the distance between an argument and its head leads to more processing effort, namely, locality effects; these are usually associated with constraints in working memory (DLT: Gibson, 2000; activation-based model: Lewis and Vasishth, 2005). In SOV languages, however, the opposite effect has been found: antilocality (see discussion in Levy et al., 2013). Antilocality effects can be explained by the expectation-based approach as proposed by Levy (2008) or by the activation-based model of sentence processing as proposed by Lewis and Vasishth (2005). We report an eye-tracking and a self-paced reading study with sentences in Spanish together with measures of individual differences to examine the distinction between expectation- and memory-based accounts, and within memory-based accounts the further distinction between DLT and the activation-based model. The experiments show that (i) antilocality effects as predicted by the expectation account appear only for high-capacity readers; (ii) increasing dependency length by interposing material that modifies the head of the dependency (the verb) produces stronger facilitation than increasing dependency length with material that does not modify the head; this is in agreement with the activation-based model but not with the expectation account; and (iii) a possible outcome of memory load on low-capacity readers is the increase in regressive saccades (locality effects as predicted by memory-based accounts) or, surprisingly, a speedup in the self-paced reading task; the latter consistent with good-enough parsing (Ferreira et al., 2002). In sum, the study suggests that individual differences in working memory capacity play a role in dependency resolution, and that some of the aspects of dependency resolution can be best explained with the activation-based model together with a prediction component. PMID:25852623

  17. The modeling and simulation of visuospatial working memory

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Lina; Zhang, Zhikang

    2010-01-01

    Camperi and Wang (Comput Neurosci 5:383–405, 1998) presented a network model for working memory that combines intrinsic cellular bistability with the recurrent network architecture of the neocortex. While Fall and Rinzel (Comput Neurosci 20:97–107, 2006) replaced this intrinsic bistability with a biological mechanism-Ca2+ release subsystem. In this study, we aim to further expand the above work. We integrate the traditional firing-rate network with Ca2+ subsystem-induced bistability, amend the synaptic weights and suggest that Ca2+ concentration only increase the efficacy of synaptic input but has nothing to do with the external input for the transient cue. We found that our network model maintained the persistent activity in response to a brief transient stimulus like that of the previous two models and the working memory performance was resistant to noise and distraction stimulus if Ca2+ subsystem was tuned to be bistable. PMID:22132045

  18. When working memory updating requires updating: analysis of serial position in a running memory task.

    PubMed

    Botto, Marta; Basso, Demis; Ferrari, Marcella; Palladino, Paola

    2014-05-01

    This study aimed to investigate updating in working memory (WM), analyzing the effects of task demand and memory resources on serial position curve (SPC), in a running memory task with slow pace presentation and a probed recognition procedure. These task conditions were supposed to produce an easier WM updating task, which may allow evidencing whether the task is performed through an active or a passive updating. Serial position curves were compared in conditions of high or low memory load, and with or without interference of a secondary (prospective memory, PM) task. With either a high WM load, or a high PM load, results showed a SPC with both primacy and recency effects, indicating the use of an active strategy. When resources were taken up by both PM task and high WM demand the usual pattern with only recency effect was obtained. Taken together, these findings support the ideas that 1--people can effectively update WM, and 2--the performance is dependent on both memory and executive resource availability.

  19. Working memory and the identification of facial expression in patients with left frontal glioma.

    PubMed

    Mu, Yong-Gao; Huang, Ling-Juan; Li, Shi-Yun; Ke, Chao; Chen, Yu; Jin, Yu; Chen, Zhong-Ping

    2012-09-01

    Patients with brain tumors may have cognitive dysfunctions including memory deterioration, such as working memory, that affect quality of life. This study was to explore the presence of defects in working memory and the identification of facial expressions in patients with left frontal glioma. This case-control study recruited 11 matched pairs of patients and healthy control subjects (mean age ± standard deviation, 37.00 ± 10.96 years vs 36.73 ± 11.20 years; 7 male and 4 female) from March through December 2011. The psychological tests contained tests that estimate verbal/visual-spatial working memory, executive function, and the identification of facial expressions. According to the paired samples analysis, there were no differences in the anxiety and depression scores or in the intelligence quotients between the 2 groups (P > .05). All indices of the Digit Span Test were significantly worse in patients than in control subjects (P < .05), but the Tapping Test scores did not differ between patient and control groups. Of all 7 Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) indexes, only the Preservative Response was significantly different between patients and control subjects (P < .05). Patients were significantly less accurate in detecting angry facial expressions than were control subjects (30.3% vs 57.6%; P < .05) but showed no deficits in the identification of other expressions. The backward indexes of the Digit Span Test were associated with emotion scores and tumor size and grade (P < .05). Patients with left frontal glioma had deficits in verbal working memory and the ability to identify anger. These may have resulted from damage to functional frontal cortex regions, in which roles in these 2 capabilities have not been confirmed. However, verbal working memory performance might be affected by emotional and tumor-related factors. PMID:23095835

  20. Working-memory performance is related to spatial breadth of attention.

    PubMed

    Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J

    2015-11-01

    Working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Models of working memory often incorporate an attention component, and some even equate working memory and attentional control. Although some attention-related processes, including inhibitory control of response conflict and interference resolution, are strongly associated with working memory, for other aspects of attention the link is less clear. We examined the association between working-memory performance and attentional breadth, the ability to spread attention spatially. If the link between attention and working memory is broader than inhibitory and interference resolution processes, then working-memory performance might also be associated with other attentional abilities, including attentional breadth. We tested 123 participants on a variety of working-memory and attentional-breadth measures, finding a strong correlation between performances on these two types of tasks. This finding demonstrates that the link between working memory and attention extends beyond inhibitory processes.

  1. Working-memory performance is related to spatial breadth of attention.

    PubMed

    Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J

    2015-11-01

    Working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Models of working memory often incorporate an attention component, and some even equate working memory and attentional control. Although some attention-related processes, including inhibitory control of response conflict and interference resolution, are strongly associated with working memory, for other aspects of attention the link is less clear. We examined the association between working-memory performance and attentional breadth, the ability to spread attention spatially. If the link between attention and working memory is broader than inhibitory and interference resolution processes, then working-memory performance might also be associated with other attentional abilities, including attentional breadth. We tested 123 participants on a variety of working-memory and attentional-breadth measures, finding a strong correlation between performances on these two types of tasks. This finding demonstrates that the link between working memory and attention extends beyond inhibitory processes. PMID:25468209

  2. Robust sequential working memory recall in heterogeneous cognitive networks

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I.; Sokolov, Yury; Kozma, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders are often caused by partial heterogeneous disinhibition in cognitive networks, controlling sequential and spatial working memory (SWM). Such dynamic connectivity changes suggest that the normal relationship between the neuronal components within the network deteriorates. As a result, competitive network dynamics is qualitatively altered. This dynamics defines the robust recall of the sequential information from memory and, thus, the SWM capacity. To understand pathological and non-pathological bifurcations of the sequential memory dynamics, here we investigate the model of recurrent inhibitory-excitatory networks with heterogeneous inhibition. We consider the ensemble of units with all-to-all inhibitory connections, in which the connection strengths are monotonically distributed at some interval. Based on computer experiments and studying the Lyapunov exponents, we observed and analyzed the new phenomenon—clustered sequential dynamics. The results are interpreted in the context of the winnerless competition principle. Accordingly, clustered sequential dynamics is represented in the phase space of the model by two weakly interacting quasi-attractors. One of them is similar to the sequential heteroclinic chain—the regular image of SWM, while the other is a quasi-chaotic attractor. Coexistence of these quasi-attractors means that the recall of the normal information sequence is intermittently interrupted by episodes with chaotic dynamics. We indicate potential dynamic ways for augmenting damaged working memory and other cognitive functions. PMID:25452717

  3. Robust sequential working memory recall in heterogeneous cognitive networks.

    PubMed

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I; Sokolov, Yury; Kozma, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders are often caused by partial heterogeneous disinhibition in cognitive networks, controlling sequential and spatial working memory (SWM). Such dynamic connectivity changes suggest that the normal relationship between the neuronal components within the network deteriorates. As a result, competitive network dynamics is qualitatively altered. This dynamics defines the robust recall of the sequential information from memory and, thus, the SWM capacity. To understand pathological and non-pathological bifurcations of the sequential memory dynamics, here we investigate the model of recurrent inhibitory-excitatory networks with heterogeneous inhibition. We consider the ensemble of units with all-to-all inhibitory connections, in which the connection strengths are monotonically distributed at some interval. Based on computer experiments and studying the Lyapunov exponents, we observed and analyzed the new phenomenon-clustered sequential dynamics. The results are interpreted in the context of the winnerless competition principle. Accordingly, clustered sequential dynamics is represented in the phase space of the model by two weakly interacting quasi-attractors. One of them is similar to the sequential heteroclinic chain-the regular image of SWM, while the other is a quasi-chaotic attractor. Coexistence of these quasi-attractors means that the recall of the normal information sequence is intermittently interrupted by episodes with chaotic dynamics. We indicate potential dynamic ways for augmenting damaged working memory and other cognitive functions.

  4. Working memory capacity predicts the beneficial effect of selective memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Schlichting, Andreas; Aslan, Alp; Holterman, Christoph; Bäuml, Karl-Heinz T

    2015-01-01

    Selective retrieval of some studied items can both impair and improve recall of the other items. This study examined the role of working memory capacity (WMC) for the two effects of memory retrieval. Participants studied an item list consisting of predefined target and nontarget items. After study of the list, half of the participants performed an imagination task supposed to induce a change in mental context, whereas the other half performed a counting task which does not induce such context change. Following presentation of a second list, memory for the original list's target items was tested, either with or without preceding retrieval of the list's nontarget items. Consistent with previous work, preceding nontarget retrieval impaired target recall in the absence of the context change, but improved target recall in its presence. In particular, there was a positive relationship between WMC and the beneficial, but not the detrimental effect of memory retrieval. On the basis of the view that the beneficial effect of memory retrieval reflects context-reactivation processes, the results indicate that individuals with higher WMC are better able to capitalise on retrieval-induced context reactivation than individuals with lower WMC.

  5. Temporal stability and representational distinctiveness: Key functions of orthographic working memory

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Vanessa; Fischer-Baum, Simon; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele; Rapp, Brenda

    2012-01-01

    A primary goal of working memory research has been to understand the mechanisms that permit working memory systems to effectively maintain the identity and order of the elements held in memory for sufficient time as to allow for their selection and transfer to subsequent processing stages. Based on the performance of two individuals with acquired dysgraphia affecting orthographic WM (the graphemic buffer) we present evidence of two distinct and dissociable functions of orthographic WM. One function is responsible for maintaining the temporal stability of letters held in orthographic WM, while the other is responsible for maintaining their representational distinctiveness. The failure to maintain temporal stability and representational distinctiveness give rise, respectively, to decay and interference effects that manifest themselves in distinctive error patterns, including distinct serial position effects. The findings we report have implications beyond our understanding of orthographic WM, as the need to maintain temporal stability and representational distinctiveness in WM is common across cognitive domains. PMID:22248210

  6. Reasoning and Memory: People Make Varied Use of the Information Available in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardman, Kyle O.; Cowan, Nelson

    2016-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is used for storing information in a highly accessible state so that other mental processes, such as reasoning, can use that information. Some WM tasks require that participants not only store information, but also reason about that information to perform optimally on the task. In this study, we used visual WM tasks that had…

  7. Twisting Tongues and Memories: Explorations of the Relationship between Language Production and Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acheson, Daniel J.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2009-01-01

    Many accounts of working memory posit specialized storage mechanisms for the maintenance of serial order. We explore an alternative, that maintenance is achieved through temporary activation in the language production architecture. Four experiments examined the extent to which the phonological similarity effect can be explained as a sublexical…

  8. Compression in Visual Working Memory: Using Statistical Regularities to Form More Efficient Memory Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brady, Timothy F.; Konkle, Talia; Alvarez, George A.

    2009-01-01

    The information that individuals can hold in working memory is quite limited, but researchers have typically studied this capacity using simple objects or letter strings with no associations between them. However, in the real world there are strong associations and regularities in the input. In an information theoretic sense, regularities…

  9. Phonological Short-Term Memory, Working Memory and Foreign Language Performance in Intensive Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kormos, Judit; Safar, Anna

    2008-01-01

    In our research we addressed the question what the relationship is between phonological short-term and working memory capacity and performance in an end-of-year reading, writing, listening, speaking and use of English test. The participants of our study were 121 secondary school students aged 15-16 in the first intensive language training year of…

  10. Orienting Attention in Visual Working Memory Reduces Interference from Memory Probes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Makovski, Tal; Sussman, Rachel; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2008-01-01

    Given a changing visual environment, and the limited capacity of visual working memory (VWM), the contents of VWM must be in constant flux. Using a change detection task, the authors show that VWM is subject to obligatory updating in the face of new information. Change detection performance is enhanced when the item that may change is…

  11. When Do Visual and Verbal Memories Conflict?: The Importance of Working-Memory Load and Retrieval

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morey, Candice C.; Cowan, Nelson

    2005-01-01

    Examinations of interference between verbal and visual materials in working memory have produced mixed results. If there is a central form of storage (e.g., the focus of attention; N. Cowan, 2001), then cross-domain interference should be obtained. The authors examined this question with a visual-array comparison task (S. J. Luck & E. K. Vogel,…

  12. Working Memory Deficits in Children with Reading Difficulties: Memory Span and Dual Task Coordination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Shinmin; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigated the cause of the reported problems in working memory in children with reading difficulties. Verbal and visuospatial simple and complex span tasks, and digit span and reaction times tasks performed singly and in combination, were administered to 46 children with single word reading difficulties and 45 typically…

  13. Reexamining the Relationship between Working Memory and Comprehension: The Role of Available Long-Term Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Was, Christopher A.; Woltz, Dan J.

    2007-01-01

    Two individual differences studies tested relationships between listening comprehension and two conceptualizations of working memory (WM) capacity. Recently, some theorists have stressed that the empirically indicated limits of rehearsal-based WM storage components are inconsistent with the amounts of information needed to accomplish complex…

  14. Working Memory, Short-Term Memory, and Naming Speed as Predictors of Children's Mathematical Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, Lee; Kim, Kenny

    2007-01-01

    Working memory (WM) has been associated with the acquisition of arithmetic skills, however, the components of WM that underlie this acquisition have not been explored. This study explored the contribution of two WM systems (the phonological loop and the central executive) to mathematical performance in young children. The results showed that a…

  15. Raven's matrices and working memory: a dual-task approach.

    PubMed

    Rao, K Venkata; Baddeley, Alan

    2013-01-01

    Raven's Matrices Test was developed as a "pure" measure of Spearman's concept of general intelligence, g. Subsequent research has attempted to specify the processes underpinning performance, some relating it to the concept of working memory and proposing a crucial role for the central executive, with the nature of other components currently unclear. Up to this point, virtually all work has been based on correlational analysis of number of correct solutions, sometimes related to possible strategies. We explore the application to this problem of the concurrent task methodology used widely in developing the concept of multicomponent working memory. Participants attempted to solve problems from the matrices under baseline conditions, or accompanied by backward counting or verbal repetition tasks, assumed to disrupt the central executive and phonological loop components of working memory, respectively. As in other uses of this method, number of items correct showed little effect, while solution time measures gave very clear evidence of an important role for the central executive, but no evidence for phonological loop involvement. We conclude that this and related concurrent task techniques hold considerable promise for the analysis of Raven's matrices and potentially for other established psychometric tests.

  16. Brain dynamics of attention and working memory engagement in subitizing.

    PubMed

    Pagano, Silvia; Lombardi, Luigi; Mazza, Veronica

    2014-01-16

    This study addressed the engagement of attention and working memory, as inferred from electrophysiological measurements, in the processing of small sets of objects. We recorded N2pc and CDA, two lateralized components of the EEG signal associated respectively with individuation and visual working memory, while participants enumerated a variable number (1-9) of uniquely colored targets among distractors. Behavioral results showed a clear subitizing effect, with lower error rates for smaller (1-3 targets) than larger sets. ERP results showed that both N2pc and CDA amplitudes increased as a function of target numerosity up to approximately three targets. However, individual differences in the enumeration efficiency were correlated only with the individual variation in the N2pc modulations. The results suggest that the constraints of the attentional individuation system play a significant role in the occurrence of the subitizing phenomenon. PMID:24309139

  17. Effects of strategy on visual working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Bengson, Jesse J; Luck, Steven J

    2016-02-01

    Substantial evidence suggests that individual differences in estimates of working memory capacity reflect differences in how effectively people use their intrinsic storage capacity. This suggests that estimated capacity could be increased by instructions that encourage more effective encoding strategies. The present study tested this by giving different participants explicit strategy instructions in a change detection task. Compared to a condition in which participants were simply told to do their best, we found that estimated capacity was increased for participants who were instructed to remember the entire visual display, even at set sizes beyond their capacity. However, no increase in estimated capacity was found for a group that was told to focus on a subset of the items in supracapacity arrays. This finding confirms the hypothesis that encoding strategies may influence visual working memory performance, and it is contrary to the hypothesis that the optimal strategy is to filter out any items beyond the storage capacity.

  18. Working memory capacity as controlled attention in tactical decision making.

    PubMed

    Furley, Philip A; Memmert, Daniel

    2012-06-01

    The controlled attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC, Engle 2002) suggests that WMC represents a domain free limitation in the ability to control attention and is predictive of an individual's capability of staying focused, avoiding distraction and impulsive errors. In the present paper we test the predictive power of WMC in computer-based sport decision-making tasks. Experiment 1 demonstrated that high-WMC athletes were better able at focusing their attention on tactical decision making while blocking out irrelevant auditory distraction. Experiment 2 showed that high-WMC athletes were more successful at adapting their tactical decision making according to the situation instead of relying on prepotent inappropriate decisions. The present results provide additional but also unique support for the controlled attention theory of WMC by demonstrating that WMC is predictive of controlling attention in complex settings among different modalities and highlight the importance of working memory in tactical decision making.

  19. The allocation of attention and working memory in visual crowding.

    PubMed

    Bacigalupo, Felix; Luck, Steven J

    2015-06-01

    When the distance between a visual target and nearby flankers falls below a critical distance, target discrimination declines precipitously. This is called "crowding." Many researchers have proposed that selective attention plays a role in crowding. However, although some research has examined the effects of directing attention toward versus away from the targets, no previous research has assessed how attentional allocation varies as a function of target-flanker distance in crowding. Here, we used ERPs to assess the operation of attention during crowding, focusing on the attention-related N2pc component. We used a typical crowding task in which participants were asked to report the category (vowel/consonant) of a lateralized target letter flanked by distractor letters at different distances. We tested the hypothesis that attention fails when the target-flanker distance becomes too small for attention to operate effectively. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that N2pc amplitude was maximal at intermediate target-flanker distances and decreased substantially when crowding became severe. In addition, we examined the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), which reflects the amount of information being maintained in working memory. Unlike the N2pc component, the SPCN increased in amplitude at small target-flanker distances, suggesting that observers stored information about the target and flankers in working memory when attention failed to select the target. Together, the N2pc and SPCN results suggest that attention and working memory play distinctive roles in crowding: Attention operates to minimize interference from the flankers at intermediate target-flanker distances, whereas working memory may be recruited when attention fails to select the target at small target-flanker distances.

  20. Self-regulation and working memory in musical performers

    PubMed Central

    Killough, Cynthia M.; Thompson, Laura A.; Morgan, Gin

    2013-01-01

    Performing music in front of others can be stressful, even for experienced performers. The physiological effects of stress, namely, increases in cortisol and sympathetic nervous system activity, have been shown to have detrimental effects on cognition, particularly working memory. This study used an audition-like performance scenario to elicit a stress response in performers who differed in their degree of musical experience. We expected that participants with more musical experience would be better able to regulate their stress response, would report lower levels of anxiety, insecurity, and nervousness, and would show better working memory following the stressor, compared to participants with less musical experience. Although we did not find differences between more and less experienced performers in their sympathetic nervous system activity or their self-reported feelings of anxiety and nervousness, we did find some important differences: following the stressor, more experienced performers were less insecure, they showed better regulation of their cortisol response, and they demonstrated better working memory. PMID:26392676

  1. Delayed working memory consolidation during the attentional blink.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Edward K; Luck, Steven J

    2002-12-01

    After the detection of a target (T1) in a rapid stream of visual stimuli, there is a period of 400-600 msec during which a subsequent target (T2) is missed. This impairment in performance has been labeled the attentional blink. Recent theories propose that the attentional blink reflects a bottleneck in working memory consolidation such that T2 cannot be consolidated until after T1 is consolidated, and T2 is therefore masked by subsequent stimuli if it is presented while T1 is being consolidated. In support of this explanation, Giesbrecht & Di Lollo (1998) found that when T2 is the final item in the stimulus stream, no attentional blink is observed, because there are no subsequent stimuli that might mask T2. To provide a direct test of this explanation of the attentional blink, in the present study we used the P3 component of the event-related potential waveform to track the processing of T2. When T2 was followed by a masking item, we found that the P3 wave was completely suppressed during the attentional blink period, indicating that T2 was not consolidated in working memory. When T2 was the last item in the stimulus stream, however, we found that the P3 wave was delayed but not suppressed, indicating that T2 consolidation was not eliminated but simply delayed. These results are consistent with a fundamental limit on the consolidation of information in working memory.

  2. Approximate additions and working memory in individuals with Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Belacchi, Carmen; Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Brentan, Elena; Dante, Arianna; Persi, Lara; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2014-05-01

    There is some evidence that individuals with Down syndrome (DS) may have a poorer mathematical performance and a poorer working memory (WM) than typically developing (TD) children of the same mental age. In both typical and atypical individuals, different aspects of arithmetic and their relationships with WM have been largely studied, but the specific contribution of WM to the representation and elaboration of non-symbolic quantities has received little attention. The present study examined whether individuals with DS are as capable as TD children matched for fluid intelligence of estimating numerosity both of single sets and of added sets resulting when two sequentially presented sets are added together, also considering how these tasks related to verbal and visuospatial WM. Results showed that the DS group's performance was significantly worse than the TD group's in numerosity estimation involving one set, but not when estimating the numerosity resulting from the addition. Success in the addition task was related to success in the working memory tasks, but only for the group with DS; this applied especially to the visuospatial component, which (unlike the verbal component) was not impaired in the group with DS. It is concluded that the two numerosity tasks involve different processes. It is concluded that the arithmetical and working memory difficulties of individuals with DS are not general, and they can draw on their WM resources when estimating the numerosity of additions. PMID:24602332

  3. Working memory contributions to reinforcement learning impairments in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne G E; Brown, Jaime K; Gold, James M; Waltz, James A; Frank, Michael J

    2014-10-01

    Previous research has shown that patients with schizophrenia are impaired in reinforcement learning tasks. However, behavioral learning curves in such tasks originate from the interaction of multiple neural processes, including the basal ganglia- and dopamine-dependent reinforcement learning (RL) system, but also prefrontal cortex-dependent cognitive strategies involving working memory (WM). Thus, it is unclear which specific system induces impairments in schizophrenia. We recently developed a task and computational model allowing us to separately assess the roles of RL (slow, cumulative learning) mechanisms versus WM (fast but capacity-limited) mechanisms in healthy adult human subjects. Here, we used this task to assess patients' specific sources of impairments in learning. In 15 separate blocks, subjects learned to pick one of three actions for stimuli. The number of stimuli to learn in each block varied from two to six, allowing us to separate influences of capacity-limited WM from the incremental RL system. As expected, both patients (n = 49) and healthy controls (n = 36) showed effects of set size and delay between stimulus repetitions, confirming the presence of working memory effects. Patients performed significantly worse than controls overall, but computational model fits and behavioral analyses indicate that these deficits could be entirely accounted for by changes in WM parameters (capacity and reliability), whereas RL processes were spared. These results suggest that the working memory system contributes strongly to learning impairments in schizophrenia. PMID:25297101

  4. Working memory and inferences: Evidence from eye fixations during reading.

    PubMed

    Calvo, Manuel G.

    2001-07-01

    Eye fixations during reading were monitored to examine the relationship between individual differences in working memory capacity-as assessed by the reading span task-and inferences about predictable events. Context sentences predicting likely events, or non-predicting control sentences, were presented. They were followed by continuation sentences in which a target word represented an event to be inferred (inferential word) or an unlikely event (non-predictable word). A main effect of reading span showed that high working memory capacity was related to shorter gaze durations across sentence regions. More specific findings involved an interaction between context, target, and reading span on late processing measures and regions. Thus, for high- but not for low-span readers, the predicting condition, relative to the control condition, facilitated reanalysis of the continuation sentence that represented the inference concept. This effect was revealed by a reduction in regression-path reading time in the last region of the sentence, involving less time reading that region and fewer regressions from it. These results indicate that working memory facilitates elaborative inferences during reading, but that this occurs at late text-integration processes, rather than at early lexical-access processes.

  5. Working memory and inferences: evidence from eye fixations during reading.

    PubMed

    Calvo, M G

    2001-01-01

    Eye fixations during reading were monitored to examine the relationship between individual differences in working memory capacity-as assessed by the reading span task-and inferences about predictable events. Context sentences predicting likely events, or non-predicting control sentences, were presented. They were followed by continuation sentences in which a target word represented an event to be inferred (inferential word) or an unlikely event (non-predictable word). A main effect of reading span showed that high working memory capacity was related to shorter gaze durations across sentence regions. More specific findings involved an interaction between context, target, and reading span on late processing measures and regions. Thus, for high- but not for low-span readers, the predicting condition, relative to the control condition, facilitated reanalysis of the continuation sentence that represented the inference concept. This effect was revealed by a reduction in regression-path reading time in the last region of the sentence, involving less time reading that region and fewer regressions from it. These results indicate that working memory facilitates elaborative inferences during reading, but that this occurs at late text-integration processes, rather than at early lexical-access processes.

  6. Attractor models of working memory and their modulation by reward.

    PubMed

    Chumbley, Justin R; Dolan, Raymond J; Friston, Karl J

    2008-01-01

    This work reports an empirical examination of two key issues in theoretical neuroscience: distractibility in the context of working memory (WM) and its reward dependence. While these issues have been examined fruitfully in isolation (e.g. Macoveanu et al. in Biol Cybern 96(4): 407-19, 2007), we address them here in tandem, with a focus on how distractibility and reward interact. In particular, we parameterise an observation model that embodies the nonlinear form of such interactions, as described in a recent neuronal network model (Gruber et al. in J Comput Neurosci 20:153-166, 2006). We observe that memory for a target stimulus can be corrupted by distracters in the delay period. Interestingly, in contrast to our theoretical predictions, this corruption was only partial. Distracters do not simply overwrite target; rather, a compromise is reached between target and distracter. Finally, we observed a trend towards a reduced distractibility under conditions of high reward. We discuss the implications of these findings for theoretical formulations of basal and dopamine (DA)-modulated neural bump- attractor networks of working memory.

  7. Working memory capacity predicts effects of methylphenidate on reversal learning.

    PubMed

    van der Schaaf, Marieke E; Fallon, Sean J; Ter Huurne, Niels; Buitelaar, Jan; Cools, Roshan

    2013-09-01

    Increased use of stimulant medication, such as methylphenidate, by healthy college students has raised questions about its cognitive-enhancing effects. Methylphenidate acts by increasing extracellular catecholamine levels and is generally accepted to remediate cognitive and reward deficits in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the cognitive-enhancing effects of such 'smart drugs' in the healthy population are still unclear. Here, we investigated effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin, 20  mg) on reward and punishment learning in healthy students (N=19) in a within-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design. Results revealed that methylphenidate effects varied both as a function of task demands and as a function of baseline working memory capacity. Specifically, methylphenidate improved reward vs punishment learning in high-working memory subjects, whereas it impaired reward vs punishment learning in low-working memory subjects. These results contribute to our understanding of individual differences in the cognitive-enhancing effects of methylphenidate in the healthy population. Moreover, they highlight the importance of taking into account both inter- and intra-individual differences in dopaminergic drug research.

  8. Stereotype threat and working memory: mechanisms, alleviation, and spillover.

    PubMed

    Beilock, Sian L; Rydell, Robert J; McConnell, Allen R

    2007-05-01

    Stereotype threat (ST) occurs when the awareness of a negative stereotype about a social group in a particular domain produces suboptimal performance by members of that group. Although ST has been repeatedly demonstrated, far less is known about how its effects are realized. Using mathematical problem solving as a test bed, the authors demonstrate in 5 experiments that ST harms math problems that rely heavily on working memory resources--especially phonological aspects of this system. Moreover, by capitalizing on an understanding of the cognitive mechanisms by which ST exerts its impact, the authors show (a) how ST can be alleviated (e.g., by heavily practicing once-susceptible math problems such that they are retrieved directly from long-term memory rather than computed via a working-memory-intensive algorithm) and (b) when it will spill over onto subsequent tasks unrelated to the stereotype in question but dependent on the same cognitive resources that stereotype threat also uses. The current work extends the knowledge of the causal mechanisms of stereotype threat and demonstrates how its effects can be attenuated and propagated.

  9. Elevations of Endogenous Kynurenic Acid Produce Spatial Working Memory Deficits

    PubMed Central

    Chess, Amy C.; Simoni, Michael K.; Alling, Torey E.; Bucci, David J.

    2007-01-01

    Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is a tryptophan metabolite that is synthesized and released by astrocytes and acts as a competitive antagonist of the glycine site of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors at high concentrations and as a noncompetitive antagonist of the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor at low concentrations. The discovery of increased cortical KYNA levels in schizophrenia prompted the hypothesis that elevated KYNA concentration may underlie the working memory dysfunction observed in this population that has been attributed to altered glutamatergic and/or cholinergic transmission. The present study investigated the effect of elevated endogenous KYNA on spatial working memory function in rats. Increased KYNA levels were achieved with intraperitoneal administration of kynurenine (100 mg/kg), the precursor of KYNA synthesis. Rats were treated with either kynurenine or a vehicle solution prior to testing in a radial arm maze task at various delays. Elevations of endogenous KYNA resulted in increased errors in the radial arm maze. In separate experiments, assessment of locomotor activity in an open field and latency to retrieve food reward from one of the maze arms ruled out the possibility that deficits in the maze were attributable to altered locomotor activity or motivation to consume food. These results provide evidence that increased KYNA levels produce spatial working memory deficits and are among the first to demonstrate the influence of glia-derived molecules on cognitive function. The implications for psychopathological conditions such as schizophrenia are discussed. PMID:16920787

  10. Working memory capacity predicts effects of methylphenidate on reversal learning.

    PubMed

    van der Schaaf, Marieke E; Fallon, Sean J; Ter Huurne, Niels; Buitelaar, Jan; Cools, Roshan

    2013-09-01

    Increased use of stimulant medication, such as methylphenidate, by healthy college students has raised questions about its cognitive-enhancing effects. Methylphenidate acts by increasing extracellular catecholamine levels and is generally accepted to remediate cognitive and reward deficits in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the cognitive-enhancing effects of such 'smart drugs' in the healthy population are still unclear. Here, we investigated effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin, 20  mg) on reward and punishment learning in healthy students (N=19) in a within-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design. Results revealed that methylphenidate effects varied both as a function of task demands and as a function of baseline working memory capacity. Specifically, methylphenidate improved reward vs punishment learning in high-working memory subjects, whereas it impaired reward vs punishment learning in low-working memory subjects. These results contribute to our understanding of individual differences in the cognitive-enhancing effects of methylphenidate in the healthy population. Moreover, they highlight the importance of taking into account both inter- and intra-individual differences in dopaminergic drug research. PMID:23612436

  11. Brain Injury Impairs Working Memory and Prefrontal Circuit Function

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Colin J.; Xiong, Guoxiang; Elkind, Jaclynn A.; Putnam, Brendan; Cohen, Akiva S.

    2015-01-01

    More than 2.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Even mild to moderate TBI causes long-lasting neurological effects. Despite its prevalence, no therapy currently exists to treat the underlying cause of cognitive impairment suffered by TBI patients. Following lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI), the most widely used experimental model of TBI, we investigated alterations in working memory and excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in the prefrontal cortex. LFPI impaired working memory as assessed with a T-maze behavioral task. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials recorded in the prefrontal cortex were reduced in slices derived from brain-injured mice. Spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were more frequent in slices derived from LFPI mice, while inhibitory currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were smaller after LFPI. Additionally, an increase in action potential threshold and concomitant decrease in firing rate was observed in layer 2/3 neurons in slices from injured animals. Conversely, no differences in excitatory or inhibitory synaptic transmission onto layer 5 neurons were observed; however, layer 5 neurons demonstrated a decrease in input resistance and action potential duration after LFPI. These results demonstrate synaptic and intrinsic alterations in prefrontal circuitry that may underlie working memory impairment caused by TBI. PMID:26617569

  12. Forgetting from working memory: does novelty encoding matter?

    PubMed

    Plancher, Gaën; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    The sources of forgetting in working memory remain the matter of intense debate. According to the SOB model (serial order in a box; Farrell & Lewandowsky, 2002), forgetting in complex span tasks does not result from temporal decay but from interference produced by the encoding of distractors that are superimposed over memory items onto a composite memory. The main tenet of the model is that the encoding strength of a distractor is a function of its novelty, with novel distractors being encoded with a large encoding weight that interferes with other memories, whereas repeated distractors would result in negligible encoding weight and no further forgetting. In the present study, we tested the 2 main predictions issuing from this model. First, recall performance should be better in complex span tasks in which distractors are repeated than in tasks in which every distractor is novel. Second, increasing the number of novel distractors should lead to more interference and poorer recall. In 5 experiments in which we controlled for attentional demand and temporal factors, none of these predictions were verified, whereas a strong effect of the pace at which distracting tasks were performed testified that they involved forgetting. We conclude that, contrary to the SOB model, the novelty of distractors plays no role per se in forgetting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Forgetting from working memory: does novelty encoding matter?

    PubMed

    Plancher, Gaën; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    The sources of forgetting in working memory remain the matter of intense debate. According to the SOB model (serial order in a box; Farrell & Lewandowsky, 2002), forgetting in complex span tasks does not result from temporal decay but from interference produced by the encoding of distractors that are superimposed over memory items onto a composite memory. The main tenet of the model is that the encoding strength of a distractor is a function of its novelty, with novel distractors being encoded with a large encoding weight that interferes with other memories, whereas repeated distractors would result in negligible encoding weight and no further forgetting. In the present study, we tested the 2 main predictions issuing from this model. First, recall performance should be better in complex span tasks in which distractors are repeated than in tasks in which every distractor is novel. Second, increasing the number of novel distractors should lead to more interference and poorer recall. In 5 experiments in which we controlled for attentional demand and temporal factors, none of these predictions were verified, whereas a strong effect of the pace at which distracting tasks were performed testified that they involved forgetting. We conclude that, contrary to the SOB model, the novelty of distractors plays no role per se in forgetting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). PMID:22563635

  14. Evidence for two attentional components in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J

    2014-11-01

    How does executive attentional control contribute to memory for sequences of visual objects, and what does this reveal about storage and processing in working memory? Three experiments examined the impact of a concurrent executive load (backward counting) on memory for sequences of individually presented visual objects. Experiments 1 and 2 found disruptive concurrent load effects of equivalent magnitude on memory for shapes, colors, and colored shape conjunctions (as measured by single-probe recognition). These effects were present only for Items 1 and 2 in a 3-item sequence; the final item was always impervious to this disruption. This pattern of findings was precisely replicated in Experiment 3 when using a cued verbal recall measure of shape-color binding, with error analysis providing additional insights concerning attention-related loss of early-sequence items. These findings indicate an important role for executive processes in maintaining representations of earlier encountered stimuli in an active form alongside privileged storage of the most recent stimulus. PMID:24564541

  15. Asymmetrical access to color and location in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Rajsic, Jason; Wilson, Daryl E

    2014-10-01

    Models of visual working memory (VWM) have benefitted greatly from the use of the delayed-matching paradigm. However, in this task, the ability to recall a probed feature is confounded with the ability to maintain the proper binding between the feature that is to be reported and the feature (typically location) that is used to cue a particular item for report. Given that location is typically used as a cue-feature, we used the delayed-estimation paradigm to compare memory for location to memory for color, rotating which feature was used as a cue and which was reported. Our results revealed several novel findings: 1) the likelihood of reporting a probed object's feature was superior when reporting location with a color cue than when reporting color with a location cue; 2) location report errors were composed entirely of swap errors, with little to no random location reports; and 3) both colour and location reports greatly benefitted from the presence of nonprobed items at test. This last finding suggests that it is uncertainty over the bindings between locations and colors at memory retrieval that drive swap errors, not at encoding. We interpret our findings as consistent with a representational architecture that nests remembered object features within remembered locations. PMID:25190322

  16. Working memory and fluid intelligence: capacity, attention control, and secondary memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Nash; Fukuda, Keisuke; Awh, Edward; Vogel, Edward K

    2014-06-01

    Several theories have been put forth to explain the relation between working memory (WM) and gF. Unfortunately, no single factor has been shown to fully account for the relation between these two important constructs. In the current study we tested whether multiple factors (capacity, attention control, and secondary memory) would collectively account for the relation. A large number of participants performed multiple measures of each construct and latent variable analyses were used to examine the data. The results demonstrated that capacity, attention control, and secondary memory were uniquely related to WM storage, WM processing, and gF. Importantly, the three factors completely accounted for the relation between WM (both processing and storage) and gF. Thus, although storage and processing make independent contributions to gF, both of these contributions are accounted for by variation in capacity, attention control and secondary memory. These results are consistent with the multifaceted view of WM, suggesting that individual differences in capacity, attention control, and secondary memory jointly account for individual differences in WM and its relation with gF.

  17. Reconstructions of information in visual spatial working memory degrade with memory load.

    PubMed

    Sprague, Thomas C; Ester, Edward F; Serences, John T

    2014-09-22

    Working memory (WM) enables the maintenance and manipulation of information relevant to behavioral goals. Variability in WM ability is strongly correlated with IQ [1], and WM function is impaired in many neurological and psychiatric disorders [2, 3], suggesting that this system is a core component of higher cognition. WM storage is thought to be mediated by patterns of activity in neural populations selective for specific properties (e.g., color, orientation, location, and motion direction) of memoranda [4-13]. Accordingly, many models propose that differences in the amplitude of these population responses should be related to differences in memory performance [14, 15]. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging and an image reconstruction technique based on a spatial encoding model [16] to visualize and quantify population-level memory representations supported by multivoxel patterns of activation within regions of occipital, parietal and frontal cortex while participants precisely remembered the location(s) of zero, one, or two small stimuli. We successfully reconstructed images containing representations of the remembered-but not forgotten-locations within regions of occipital, parietal, and frontal cortex using delay-period activation patterns. Critically, the amplitude of representations of remembered locations and behavioral performance both decreased with increasing memory load. These results suggest that differences in visual WM performance between memory load conditions are mediated by changes in the fidelity of large-scale population response profiles distributed across multiple areas of human cortex.

  18. Video Game Training Enhances Visuospatial Working Memory and Episodic Memory in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2016-01-01

    In this longitudinal intervention study with experimental and control groups, we investigated the effects of video game training on the visuospatial working memory (WM) and episodic memory of healthy older adults. Participants were 19 volunteer older adults, who received 15 1-h video game training sessions with a series of video games selected from a commercial package (Lumosity), and a control group of 20 healthy older adults. The results showed that the performance of the trainees improved significantly in all the practiced video games. Most importantly, we found significant enhancements after training in the trained group and no change in the control group in two computerized tasks designed to assess visuospatial WM, namely the Corsi blocks task and the Jigsaw puzzle task. The episodic memory and short-term memory of the trainees also improved. Gains in some WM and episodic memory tasks were maintained during a 3-month follow-up period. These results suggest that the aging brain still retains some degree of plasticity, and that video game training might be an effective intervention tool to improve WM and other cognitive functions in older adults. PMID:27199723

  19. Video Game Training Enhances Visuospatial Working Memory and Episodic Memory in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M.; Mayas, Julia; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2016-01-01

    In this longitudinal intervention study with experimental and control groups, we investigated the effects of video game training on the visuospatial working memory (WM) and episodic memory of healthy older adults. Participants were 19 volunteer older adults, who received 15 1-h video game training sessions with a series of video games selected from a commercial package (Lumosity), and a control group of 20 healthy older adults. The results showed that the performance of the trainees improved significantly in all the practiced video games. Most importantly, we found significant enhancements after training in the trained group and no change in the control group in two computerized tasks designed to assess visuospatial WM, namely the Corsi blocks task and the Jigsaw puzzle task. The episodic memory and short-term memory of the trainees also improved. Gains in some WM and episodic memory tasks were maintained during a 3-month follow-up period. These results suggest that the aging brain still retains some degree of plasticity, and that video game training might be an effective intervention tool to improve WM and other cognitive functions in older adults. PMID:27199723

  20. Video Game Training Enhances Visuospatial Working Memory and Episodic Memory in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2016-01-01

    In this longitudinal intervention study with experimental and control groups, we investigated the effects of video game training on the visuospatial working memory (WM) and episodic memory of healthy older adults. Participants were 19 volunteer older adults, who received 15 1-h video game training sessions with a series of video games selected from a commercial package (Lumosity), and a control group of 20 healthy older adults. The results showed that the performance of the trainees improved significantly in all the practiced video games. Most importantly, we found significant enhancements after training in the trained group and no change in the control group in two computerized tasks designed to assess visuospatial WM, namely the Corsi blocks task and the Jigsaw puzzle task. The episodic memory and short-term memory of the trainees also improved. Gains in some WM and episodic memory tasks were maintained during a 3-month follow-up period. These results suggest that the aging brain still retains some degree of plasticity, and that video game training might be an effective intervention tool to improve WM and other cognitive functions in older adults.